Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Rajapaksa should accept international investigation - Gulf News

The Gulf News, a Dubai-based newspaper, has called on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to accept an international investigation, in an editorial published on Monday.

The paper said the government's campaign against the LTTE was 'marred by excesses', and that Rajapasa should admit that crimes were committed and establish responsibility for them.

See full editorial below.

In 2009, the Sri Lankan government won the decades-long struggle against the separatist Tamil Tigers, who had fought a particularly brutal war against the government with regular use of random acts of terror. The Sri Lankan army’s final campaign was marred by excesses, as the soldiers were desperate not to allow the terrorists to escape, even as they used tens of thousands of villagers as human shields to avoid the army’s assault.

There is little doubt that the army was too willing to kill in its determination to stamp out the Tigers, but ever since 2009 the increasingly dictatorial President Mahinda Rajapaksa has totally rejected any accusations of rape, executions and indiscriminate shelling, saying the end of the war had brought peace, stability and the chance of greater prosperity to the country. His total denials are increasingly unbelievable, and Rajapaksa would be better off admitting that excesses were committed and expose them honestly.

This is why UK Prime Minister David Cameron was right in visiting the Tamils in the north of Sri Lanka, and to insist that Rajapaksa accept by next March some kind of international investigation into the army’s conduct. Others have boycotted the Commonwealth summit, like Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. These actions all add to the pressure on the increasingly autocratic government in Colombo to work to essential international standards.

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.