Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who steps down from his post today, says the military is refusing to obey the Government on the land issue.
In an article written for the Economist, Hussein said that a fracture within society is often shorthand for human suffering or the existence of burning grievances.
“Before conflicts begin, suffering stems from three types of human rights violations. One is the denial of fundamental freedoms, such as of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly, creating a situation where life and fear of the state become inseparable. A second is the deprivation of basic services, such as legal and social protections or rights to education and healthcare, which often only confirms the hold of political elites over others. And third, feeding the first two, discrimination, structural and deep, propped up by racism, chauvinism and bigotry,” he said,
Hussein said the apparent powerlessness of those who suffer was also brought home to him in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, where Tamil communities dispossessed of their land by the military decades ago still live in the most basic and deplorable conditions.
He said that even when the Government is committed to the release of their lands and properties, the military refuses to obey, so the innocent and displaced continue to suffer terribly. (Colombo Gazette)