Programme Paper

Project: Asia Programme

Charu Lata Hogg
  • Nearly four years after the military defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Sri Lankan government has conducted no credible investigations into allegations of war crimes, disappearances or other serious human rights violations.
  • Despite the defeat of the LTTE, the regime in Sri Lanka has become increasingly authoritarian. Many fear that continued persecution of Tamils could well trigger a violent response.
  • Whatever the reasons for President Mahinda Rajapakse's authoritarian course, recent steps taken by the government make it clear that the state’s stability rests on a combination of factors: the development of a Sinhala-Buddhist authoritarian political discourse, and the government’s ability to maintain the military subjugation of Tamils.
  • There is general agreement that, however useful the role of the international community, real change can only come from within Sri Lanka. A slow but stoical wave of dissent has been set in motion by small acts of resistance.