As Sri Lanka continues to face justified international pressure over war crimes against Tamils committed during the country’s civil war, a recently released Wikileaks cable alleges the Tamil population inside the country fears even raising accountability issues. That’s quite some democracy:
In a comment dated 15.01.2010, US ambassador Patricia Butenis noted the Tamils in Sri Lanka and overseas are divided on the issue of accountabiliy and war crimes, according to just leaked Wikileaks cables.
She said while the Tamils in Sri Lanka saw accountability as unrealistic and counterproductive, the Diaspora saw it as a priotity.
Here is the comment by Ambassador Butenis:
Accountability is clearly an issue of importance for the ultimate political and moral health of Sri Lankan society. There is an obvious split, however, between the Tamil diaspora and Tamils in Sri Lanka on how and when to address the issue. While we understand the former would like to see the issue as an immediate top-priority issue, most Tamils in Sri Lanka appear to think it is both unrealistic and counter-productive to push the issue too aggressively now. While Tamil leaders are very vocal and committed to national reconciliation and creating a political system more equitable to all ethnic communities, they believe themselves vulnerable to political or even physical attack if they raise the issue of accountability publicly, and common Tamils appear focused on more immediate economic and social concerns. A few have suggested to us that while they cannot address the issue, they would like to see the international community push it. Such an approach, however, would seem to play into the super-heated campaign rhetoric of Rajapaksa and his allies that there is an international conspiracy against Sri Lanka and its ‘war heroes.’