Sri Lanka reconciliation effort slammed on war anniversary

(From AFP)

Pledges by Sri Lanka’s president Maithripala Sirisena to bring about accountability and reconciliation following a bitter civil war remain largely ignored, a leading NGO said Wednesday, as the island marked seven years since the end of the conflict.

Sri Lankan government soldiers on the frontline during the war against the Tamil Tigers near Mullaittivu on May 17, 2009

Sri Lankan government soldiers on the frontline during the war against the Tamil Tigers near Mullaittivu on May 17, 2009

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group’s (IGC) report came as Colombo abandoned a controversial military “victory” parade for a more sombre remembrance ceremony that was expected to include ethnic minority Tamils.

Government forces killed the Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on May 18, 2009 after a brutal military crackdown, and declared an end to the 37-year conflict which claimed at least 100,000 lives.

Sirisena took power in January 2015 promising reconciliation, to reduce the military’s involvement in public life and pledging that those guilty of war crimes would be held accountable.

But 16 months later, many promises remain unfulfilled, the ICG said in its report, “Sri Lanka: Jump-starting the reform process”, with military involvement still visible in parts of the country. Read More



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