Human Rights Watch has just published an extensive report on the worsening situation in Sri Lanka.
Human Rights Watch has long documented abuses by the LTTE, particularly the LTTEâ€™s systematic recruitment and use of children as soldiers, the targeted killings of political opponents, and its abusive fundraising tactics abroad. We will continue to report on LTTE abuses and press the LTTE to change its practices.
This report, however, focuses primarily on abuses by the Sri Lankan government and allied armed groups, which have gotten decidedly worse over the past year. As the hostilities have increased, the governmentâ€™s respect for international law has sharply declined, with it often appearing indifferent to the impact on civilians in the north and east.
The LTTE is the world’s most brutal and successful terrorist group (going by sucide attacks). But at the launch, the report’s author made an interesting point about the Sri Lankan government. She said it had started using the phrase “war on terror” as an excuse to cover up its own brutality, saying it was a necessary side-effect and knowing that western governments would be more sypathetic. She quoted a government official who stated that since the Americans were flouting international law when dealing with terrorists, so could they. And again, they knew other governments would be unwilling to point fingers.
And it has worked. While most western governments know the situation has gotten worse because SL authorities have become careless about antagonising or killing innocent Tamils, nothing much is being said by the US or UK to bring both sides to the negotiating table. Just what we bloody well need – more governments taking lead from American foreign policy.
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Filed in: Current affairs,Sri Lanka