Sri Lankan Government Retaliates Before UN War Crimes Report

More

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.

Jump to comments
Presented by

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

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

In a series of candid video interviews, women talk about self-image, self-judgment, and what it means to love their bodies


Elsewhere on the web

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

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

Just In