Commemorating the end of the Sri Lankan war, the United National Party applauded "contributions made by our brave security forces", which have been accused of war crimes and genocide, as Tamils across the North-East commemorated those killed by the military eleven years ago.
In their statement, the UNP claims that the end of the war provided an “an opportunity to move forward and heal the wounds of the past”. They further stated that whilst in office they introduced measures to address the grievances of those who suffered and to find a lasting political solution. They claim that only “a few more measures must be finalised to complete this process," despite the overwhelming evidence that little progress has been made in terms of reconciliation and those with credible accusations of human rights violations have not only been pardoned but promoted.
Read more here: The Slow March Towards Accountability for War Crimes
Whilst stating that they seek to “reduce the ethnic and religious divides”, the UNP fails to highlight that this animosity is targeted towards Tamils and Muslims who bear the brunt of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism. There has been a surge in hate speech directed towards Muslims and the circulation of messages on social media advocating for the boycott of Muslim-owned businesses.
Read more here: OIC deeply concerned over the targeting of Muslims in Sri Lanka
Meanwhile, in the North-East, Tamils have also been targeted for abuse as the military threatens to kill those seen to commemorate the genocide of Tamils.
Read the UNP's full statement here.