At the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena appealed to the world community to provide time to resolve the Sri Lankan conflict; but clearly stated that no external influence will be entertained.
Deadly war fought between government forces and violent Tamil separatists of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) came to an end after 26 years of bloodshed in 2009. The then government headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa was accused of human rights violations against Tamil minority in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. During the presidency of Rajapaksa, armed forces were given impunity to carry out operations in Tamil dominated areas, this lead to human rights abuses against civilian population. Independent investigations suggest that thousands have been killed and several thousands are still missing.
In 2015, Maithripala Sirisena became president, routing Mahinda Rajapaksa. During election campaigning, Sirisena pledged for widespread reforms and reconciliation between Sri Lankan communities. He promised to put an end to crime against Tamils and ordered impartial probe in human rights violation cases against the minority. In recent times, Sirisena has turned soft towards the members of armed forces alleged of human rights violations and abuses.
India welcomed the resolution 30/1 adopted by human rights council on October 1, 2015, resolution states “promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka”. India has committed to construct 14,000 homes in the island’s central highlands that is home to Malayaha Tamils. Earlier this year, 400 families were handed over the keys of their houses, built with Indian assistance. Sri Lankan government praised India‘s commitment in partnering Sri Lanka in development projects.
Sri Lankan government should take bold steps to strengthen civilian administration in war-torn areas. Maithripala Sirisena’s government must prosecute the top military officials involved in killing, abduction and rape of civilian population to win the faith of war stricken families.