Sri Lanka Investigated For Human Rights Violations
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Sri Lanka Investigated For Human Rights Violations

The United Nations addresses the numerous human rights violations committed during Sri Lanka's civil war.

11
Sri Lanka Investigated For Human Rights Violations
Reuters

Sri Lanka. A small, tear-shaped island right by the southern tip of India. Famed for its ancient Buddhist temples and tourist attractions, one may never have guessed that an internal conflict has been broiling for almost 40 years.

When Sri Lanka, then named Ceylon, gained independence from Britain, the majority Sinhalese population took power. Resenting earlier British favoritism toward the very small Tamil minority group, the Sinhalese disenfranchised migrant Tamil workers from India. Soon after, a terrorist group calling themselves the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, more commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, campaigned and fought for an independent state for Tamils in Sri Lanka. Ever since then, the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers have been locked in a violent conflict that has taken tens of thousands of lives. The war officially ended in 2009, but ethnic tensions continue to this day; activist groups have even accused the government of continuing to detain and torture Tamil people earlier this year.

Watchdog groups have accused both the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tigers of many human rights violations, including abduction, extortion, and the use of child soldiers. On Saturday, February 6, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Raad Al Hussein began his four-day tour to talk to government officials, civil rights activists, and victims of human rights violations. He is also reviewing the implementation of a recommendation report to "[promote] reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka" he had written to the UN Human Rights Council.

While victims of human rights violations and their loved ones may be welcoming Al Hussein with open arms, government officials and Sri Lankan nationalists are much less than enthused. Although the nation had previously promised to allow foreign judges, such as those from the UN, to "investigate allegations against Sri Lankan forces," Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said on Thursday, February 5, that he "will never agree to international involvement in this matter." Sirisena wants an internal war crimes court to carry out investigations, but has not stated when such a court could be set up. Nationalists give Sirisena their full support as they protest Al Hussein's arrival, saying that he (and the UN as a whole) will punish the Sri Lankan military unfairly.

Al Hussein, however, has "been looking forward to coming," and "will be listening to everything [people] have to say [and]... to very constructive discussions in the days to come." He has promised to meet with representatives from all affected communities in addition to the plethora of government officials.

Whether the human rights violations are addressed by foreign judges or an internal court system, we can only hope that the victims of such violations receive reconciliation and justice in some way. Hopefully, Al Hussein's visit can be a step in that direction.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day

If you can be proud of your country on he 4th of July, you can be proud all year long.

1214
Patriotism doesn't end with Independence day
Photo by Rob Martinez on Unsplash

I'm the child of a Marine Veteran. He may have been out of the service by the time I was born, but the Patriotic Pride he lived by has been my family's life line. I grew up with the American Flag hanging in my front porch. My dad has the "Proud to be a Marine" license plate in the front of his car. And red, white, and blue is a completely acceptable way to decorate your living room. But it doesn't end with just that. You need to know why we celebrate freedom.

Keep Reading... Show less

According to Katy Perry, "Baby You're a Firework." I don't know if she was referring to the Fourth of July when she was referencing fireworks, but this song has allowed this generation to rejoice. The song "Firework" allows people of all ages to appreciate the lyrics, as the song brings forth a positive state of mind. Unfortunately, just like the song, not every knows what the Fourth of July is actually for. Many just assume it is that one time of year you get to spend time barbecuing and see fireworks light up the sky. Even though many are not aware of the American historical significance, this holiday has annually encouraged people to come together happily, which could very much be the importance of it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Why Fourth Of July is America’s Biggest Frat Party

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

2432

It’s the celebration of our great nation, and you’re all invited.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

The patriots of the American Revolution aren't the only ones who gave us the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

2720
10 Revolutionary Women To Remember This Fourth Of July

Independence Day is almost upon us, which means that for most Americans, it'll be time to bust out the lawn chairs and grills, gather around family and friends, and praise our history through patriotic garb and grand fireworks displays. It's the one day of the year where everyone forgets their political biases or historic inaccuracies, at least for a while, to look back on the hazy, illustrious history of the United States.

But, while we celebrate what people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry did for this country, they are not the only ones who embodied the very virtues that our nation loves to advocate for. This Fourth of July, here are ten American women who history tends to forget, despite the groundbreaking things they did for their country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

13 Ways Barbie Movies Shaped My Childhood

My childhood would not have been the same without them.

9692
Taylor Hawk

Barbie movies were a huge part of my childhood. I mean huge. If you are like me, I welcome you to take a healthy dose of nostalgia as I explain how Barbie movies shaped my childhood. The movies...

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments