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'Very fair to say Sri Lankan army committed genocide' - former UN staffer

A former UN staffer described the crimes committed by the Sri Lankan army against the Tamil population as a genocide in an interview with PTI at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India this week. 

"It is very fair to say that the Army committed genocide. The atrocities in Sri Lanka were definitely towards ethnic cleansing," Benjamin Dix, who worked as a United Nations communication manager in the Vanni during 2004 - 2008, said. 

"The Sri Lankan Army does not believe that they committed atrocities. It is a propaganda that they liberated Tamils from the Tamil leadership. It was not a liberation, but destruction of the Tamil community," 

"The atrocities continue in terms of removing the Tamil history, or changing names or allowing the Lankan Army to run hotels and tourism in the north. There is still a sense of victory over the Tamils in the north," Mr Dix, who is a noted photographer said. 

"There is still a huge drive to change the demography of north Sri Lanka, but I find the atmosphere reasonably relaxed today, compared to what it was in the past."

"The crimes in Sri Lanka were horrific from both sides. The Sri Lankan Army is culpable of war crimes, but the Tamil leadership also failed the people in the last decade of the civil war," he added.