Former Norwegian Minister and peace envoy Erik Solheim says the Tamil diaspora should fight for the legitimate political rights of the Tamils on a platform of a nonviolent struggle under the leadership of Tamils resident in Sri Lanka.
He said they should also reach out to Muslims, Singhalese and others to restore democracy and promote economic and social progress in the country.
“Tens of thousands of humans perished in the last phase of the Sri Lankan war. Time has long passed when the international community will close its eyes and allow impunity for alleged war crimes. As long as there is no credible domestic process in Sri Lanka, the international community should start an international enquiry,” he told the Colombo Gazette.
Solheim mediated between the government and the LTTE before fighting broke out again in 2006 resulting in the LTTE being eventually defeated in May 2009.
With just over four years gone since the war ended in Sri Lanka, Solheim says there can be no excuse to delay the restoration of democracy in Sri Lanka.
Solheim said that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka this month, should pass on a strong message to the government.
“She should communicate a clear message to the government and all others that the rest of the world expects them to bring Sri Lanka back to respected international human rights standards,” he said.
He also said there needs to be an end to all “disappearances” in Sri Lanka, court proceeding must begin for all detainees or they should be freed, religious extremism must be contained, the media should be free and the judiciary must be independent. (Colombo Gazette)
Report by Easwaran Rutnam