Sri Lanka announces reconciliation measures to facilitate civil war resolution
- As part of the reconciliation process following the country’s 26-year civil war, the government will provide certificates acknowledging the forced disappearance of thousands, many of whom were ethnic Tamils abducted by security forces.
- In addition to an Office of Missing Persons, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera promoted the establishment of a truth commission, Office of Reparations, and new constitution as part of the resolution process.
- The announced measures follow a survey of families of the missing conducted nationwide, with more than 20,000 complaints have been filed with the government over such disappearances since 2013.
“Sri Lanka plans new statute to redress Tamils’ grievances” (The Hindu)
“Sri Lanka to issue missing certificates to families of civil war disappeared” (The Guardian)
“Sri Lanka Prepares ‘Certificates of Absence’” (Inter Press Service)
Sri Lankan religious leaders caution against return of refugees from abroad as social conditions remain unstable in the aftermath of the country’s 26-year-long civil war
- Australia’s immigration minister recently visited Sri Lanka
- Despite human rights abuses by the authoritarian regime that extended after its 2009 fall, Australia has returned Sri Lankan asylum seekers, potentially in violation of international law.
- Ongoing military presence in communities has fueled insecurity, causing minority leaders to call on Australia not to return refugees but engage the new Sri Lankan government on demilitarization and minority protection.
“The minority communities are of the opinion still that we do not feel safety and security in this island. And that is one of the reasons that they are also fleeing. There may not be abductions but there can be constant harassment and intimidations.”
More on this story at The Guardian.
(Image Credit: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images, via The Guardian)
Sri Lankan mangrove preservation efforts turn to local women to lead the work.
- The country’s new mangrove protection scheme relies on women to tend the trees, which are vital to the area’s ecosystem and protect against flooding and erosion.
- Sudeesa, an environmental protection organization, provides the women with financial assistance (from $50 to $2,000 each) and training.
- The program hopes to establish 15,000 community groups, providing 15,000 with job training and micro-loans.
“Now we know – and from us, our husbands and our community also have become aware.”
More on this story at the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
(Image Credit: REUTERS/Parth Sanyal)