The Sri Lankan government’s clampdown on domestic critics and its disdain for human rights deserves a far tougher response according to The Elders. While welcoming the end of the decades-long civil war, the Elders say that meaningful progress on reconciliation in Sri Lanka is still desperately needed. They describe the international response to Sri Lanka’s worrying approach to human rights, good governance and accountability as a ‘deafening global silence’ that may encourage other states to act in a similar way.
The Elders have been following events in Sri Lanka closely since the last months of the civil war between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. They have contacted the government of Sri Lanka and officials around the world to express their concerns about alleged violations of international humanitarian law and the need for actions that promote sustainable peace and reconciliation in the country. The Elders have noted some positive change since the end of the war, including greater economic activity in the north, and the return of some 260,000 displaced people to their home districts.