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article imageTime For Reconciliation In Sri Lanka

By Christopher Szabo     Jun 17, 2009 in World
Following the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the Sri Lankan military in May, the country has a chance to heal the wounds of the 26-year war.
Executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, told the IRIN news agency:
The political roots of the conflict need to be addressed. Given that there is now a historic opportunity to fashion a new Sri Lanka and ensure that the causes and conditions for the three decade-old armed conflict are not replicated, the need of the hour is a new social contract for Sri Lanka.
Andrew Stroehlein, communications director for the International Crisis Group said:
If you are going to have reconciliation... then there has to be some kind of look into what happened during the war. There's all these issues of access to the final battlegrounds, the disappearing of some potential witnesses, and the need for some kind of real international investigation to look into some of these things, which would ... help Tamils find out what happened to some of their loved ones and relatives.
Observers believe the key to solving Sri Lanka’s problems is minority rights, something that other countries have failed to achieve. While the Tamils are the largest and best-known minority group, the country’s Muslims are another important such group.
Other issues raised were more transparency in government, as well as attending to urgent issues following the war, the most urgent of all is that of the almost 300,000 war refugees, called “Internally Displaced People (IDPs),” who are in reportedly poor conditions in refugee camps in the north of the country.
More about Sri lanka, War, Reconciliation, Tamils
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