Socialist Worker

Sri Lanka’s anti-Tamil crimes continue

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2167

Though the civil war in Sri Lanka has officially ended, two recent events show that the danger for the country’s Tamil minority remains.

First, a video has emerged of Sri Lankan troops summarily executing naked prisoners during the campaign against rebel Tamil Tigers in the spring. The government put enormous effort into keeping journalists out of the warzone.

This allowed it to deny rumours of atrocities, even as evidence mounted. The government implausibly claims that the new footage is fake.

Second, journalist JS Tissainayagam has been jailed for 20 years under Sri Lanka’s draconian anti-terror laws for criticising the government’s military policy. In July the International Monetary Fund voted through a loan of $2.6 billion to the Sri Lankan government.

This effectively sanctions the government’s brutal assault on Tamil areas that led to 20,000 deaths this year alone and forsakes hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians still held in detention camps.

The government claims it will resettle 50,000 Tamils from the camps in the next two weeks but admits that there are more than 280,000 currently imprisoned.

The British Tamils Forum has launched a campaign Unlock The Concentration Camps In Sri Lanka to publicise the ongoing abuses.

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Tue 1 Sep 2009, 19:16 BST
Issue No. 2167
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