Is Sri Lanka on the path to reconciliation?

Al Jazeera’s Inside Story featured the situation in Jaffna.

It’s been seven years since the civil war in Sri Lanka ended.

The 30-year conflict fell largely along ethnic lines.

President Maithripala Sirisena has said reconciliation is one of his top priorities, but thousands of ethnic Tamils from the country’s north still have not been able to return to their homes.

The government had promised to resettle them by the end of last month.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights gave a report on Sri Lanka’s efforts last week.

He said progress has been made, but not quickly enough.

So what’s hampering Sri Lanka’s efforts to bring reforms and justice?

Presenter: Laura Kyle

Guests:

D M Swaminathan – Sri Lankan Minister of Resettlement

Subramaniam Senthilkumar – British Tamils Forum

Bhavani Fonseka – Senior Researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives

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Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes; appoints foreign experts

 

Sri Lanka’s president has extended the terms of a commission investigating missing people and possible war crimes in the country’s 26-year civil war, bringing in foreign experts for the first time to advise on the inquiry, the government said on Thursday.

 

Mahinda Rajapaksa‘s move, contained in a document issued this week and obtained by Reuters on Thursday, comes as international pressure intensifies on Sri Lanka to investigate the final stages of the war in 2009 to crush ethnic minority Tamil separatists.

 

Three legal experts – two Britons and a U.S. national – were appointed as part of an international advisory panel linked to the presidential commission set up last year to conduct the inquiry.

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Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka and Regional Security

The violent ethnic conflict that has ravaged Sri Lanka for a decade resulted in an agreement between the governments of Sri Lanka and India – the `Indo-Sri Lanka Agreement – to establish peace and normalcy in Sri Lanka’ (signed on 29 July 1987) and the Provincial Councils Act (providing for regional autonomy) passed in parliament in November 1987. What has begun as an essentially domestic problem, arising from a minority ethnic group’s attempts to overcome acts of discrimination and oppression, acquired over time a regional and an international dimension; it had ultimately to be resolved by the intervention of a regional power with the support of all the major world powers, but with opposition from both Sinhala and Tamil militants in Sri Lanka.

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WikiLeaks: President Rajapaksa’s American Report Card

“Rajapaksa has a no better than average record for politicians when it comes to delivering on his campaign rhetoric. While the long-running ethnic conflict is no closer to resolution now than when he took office, the Tamil Tigers bear a large share of the blame for the resumption of hostilities. The focus on the violence has taken up most of the national debate – and taken some heat off the President to perform on his other promises. Still, Rajapaksa could do more to address Tamil concerns, for example, by promoting dual-language instruction in schools according to the commitment he made in Mahinda Chintana.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

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Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka

On 22 June 2010, the Secretary-General announced the appointment of a Panel of Experts to advise him on the implementation of the joint commitment included in the statement issued by the President of Sri Lanka and the Secretary-General at the conclusion of the Secretary-General’s visit to Sri Lanka on 23 March 2009.

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Sri Lanka: The Meaning of Victory

‘After 30 years we now see the dawn that will take us to a golden age of the future,’ declared Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa as he presided over the third Victory Day celebration on May 20. Over 12,000 personnel participated in the parade of military and police equipment used to defeat the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009 after a three-decade long war.

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