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Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 6.24 GMT
Sri Lanka: Reconciliation versus Interventionism


After a civil war which lasted nearly 30 years, Sri Lanka defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ("the Tamil Tigers") in 2009. It did so after rejecting outside intervention by Western powers which wanted the rebels and the government to negotiate as equal partners and which proposed international mediation and oversight.

Following the victory, the government appointed an independent Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission which has submitted proposals for how to take the country forward. Three years on, the United States, Amnesty International and Channel 4 in Britain have started to wage a campaign against Sri Lanka - a campaign which culminated in the vote of a hostile US-backed resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2012.

At the same time, Channel 4 has produced two documentaries, in 2011 and 2012 alleging war crimes committed by the Sri Lanka army during the final campaign and a subsequent government cover-up of these. The government retorts that the figures of casualties claimed by Channel 4 (as by supporters of the Tamil Tigers) are inflated and that war crimes are being investigated.

The Centre for the Study for Interventionism has produced a video on the issue. Why are the United States, Britain and famous international NGOs and media outlets cranking up the propaganda against Sri Lanka? Is there a geopolitical motive behind this? Will such interventionism from outside really help reconciliation on the ground? Is it right that international bodies, NGOs and foreign media should risk opening up old wounds when they, unlike the Sri Lankan government, will never have to bear any responsibility if their decisions turn out to be mistaken?

Watch the video at:






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Last modified: April 19, 2012.

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