Governments around the world are studying the “Sri Lanka method” for dealing with internal conflicts, but the prospect should fill us with alarm.
Respected independent observers including the US State Department and the International Crisis Group have drawn attention to credible allegations of war crimes against both the Tamil Tiger rebels and the government, leading to thousands of civilian deaths. If Colombo can get away with it — by beguiling western media, for example, into focusing elsewhere — then it sets a dangerous precedent.
An independent investigation, as called for by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, remains the only way to resolve these matters with any degree of satisfaction.
Jake Lynch, Associate Professor and Director, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney