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Atrocities and cover-up in SL

October 18, 2009

Foreign Policy in Focus : Legacy of Abuse in Sri Lanka

by Anna Neistat, Senior Researcher for Human Rights Watch’s emergencies division and is a specialist in humanitarian crises

For several months during and after the end-game of the decades-long civil war between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lanka’s government brushed off Western criticism of its abusive practices. It has relied instead on moral and financial support from states less concerned with such matters, such as China and Pakistan. Countries with similar problems and equally questionable human rights records are paying close attention — has Sri Lanka discovered the magic formula for brazenly ignoring meddlesome Western countries and getting away with it?

Sri Lanka’s policy of complete dismissal was initially successful. But now the government seems to have discovered that ignoring the strongly held opinions of powerful Western partners has consequences that might not be in the long-term interest of the country or its ruling elite after all.

Click here to read full report.

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