Sri Lankan Government Retaliates Before UN War Crimes Report

On Tuesday, April 12th, a panel of experts presented the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with a report on whether the Sri Lankan government committed war crimes when the nation's army won a long-running civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels in early 2009. Although the report has not yet been made public, the government is furious about the inquiry and says it is "fundamentally flawed" and biased. They are hoping to discredit the report by proving that their opponents are conspiring with the West and the Tamil diaspora. The government seems to be banking on the idea that if citizens as well as journalists are worried about a crackdown, they'll be less likely to complain.

In recent weeks Sri Lanka's rulers have vented their anger, most obviously by cracking down at home, intimidating those they blame for spurring the launch of the UN inquiry in the first place. At the sharp end are Western-funded education and advocacy groups, notably those keen on post-war reconciliation or those that point out flaws in the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Facing the most intense scrutiny are groups which have complained about repression, a muzzled press and a lack of civil liberties.

Top of the list is the National Peace Council, which pushed for a negotiated rather than a violent end to the war. Last month criminal investigators summoned its director, Jehan Perera, demanding details of the group's funding and operations. Before that, a smear campaign in the press suggested the council takes orders from foreign donors. No specific crime has been alleged, making it harder for the council to clear its name.

Read the full story at the Economist.

Presented by

Miriam Krule writes for and produces The Atlantic's International channel.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Global

Just In