Anybody who examines the situation in Sri Lanka can’t ignore the human rights abuses committed by the Tamil Tigers:
India expressed its concern about the Human Rights situation in Sri Lanka and the way the LTTE used civilians as human shields in 2009, the latest WikiLeaks cable revealed. The cable said that during a meeting with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband who was on an official visit to India in January 2009, the then Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had told “he continued to be concerned by the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and with the way the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) use civilians as human shields”.
Mukherjee had said provisions needed to be made to get civilians out of hot zones and that the Government of Sri Lanka needs to use devolution of authority as an element of a political settlement to the conflict. Miliband noted his concerns that the Sri Lanka military may also be involved in human rights violations,” the secret document said.
Miliband was in India from January 13 till 15.
The criminality of such actions doesn’t of course change the moral and legal reasons for backing Tamil independence. Decades of Sinhalese oppression has make such an outcome almost essential.
Some other Wikileaks US cables make for interesting reading. Like this one from May 2009:
The 30-year old violent ethnic struggle for a separate Tamil state in SRI LANKA may have ended, but it would be erroneous to infer that this will lead to a lasting peace. The SRI LANKAn Rajapakse government faces an uphill task of restoring the dignity of Tamils and bringing them into the mainstream.
And this one from 2007 highlights the kind of behaviour Colombo still practices:
The GSL, which denies any links to paramilitary groups, has recently touted its efforts to improve its human rights record, such as the re-publication of procedures on arrests and detentions and the appointment of a “One-Man Commission” to investigate reported disappearances (ref C). However, these efforts so far appear aimed more at improving SRI LANKA’s image abroad and have yet to produce concrete improvements in the human rights situation. Outside the capital, the incidence of human rights abuses has continued, including extrajudicial killings, abductions, child trafficking, extortion, and prostitution. President Rajapaksa’s government, strapped for cash, has cut direct payments to paramilitaries initiated by former President Kumaratunga and instead turns a blind eye to extortion and kidnapping for ransom by EPDP and Karuna. While many of the charges against the government have been made in public fora, a growing number of trusted Embassy contacts, often at personal risk, have described in detail the extent of the GSL’s involvement with paramilitary groups.