Last month saw the official marking of three years after the end of the 28 year old war that plagued Sri Lanka, killing thousands and setting the country back in terms of development and prosperity. Yet three years on, it seems that not much has changed.
Whilst Sri Lanka has tried to portray that there has been progress made on the ground largely in infrastructural development, critics have been quick to highlight the lack of tangible progress on reconciliation, in effect the inertia on implementing internal recommendations for reconciliation, coupled with an ever weakening space for human rights, media expression and democratic freedom. The recent resolutions at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva on Sri Lanka have been testimony to this type of thinking where analysts have not only been critical that progress has been slow on the ground amidst a decline in general rights that are deemed to be core to a functioning democracy, but they have also pointed to the need to keep this on the international agenda.
This is a debatable fact and the Government is not really willing to engage on any real discussion on the issue despite the occurrences as reported in the media of kidnappings and killings. A recent interview between the defence secretary and the BBC is testimony to the extremely sensitive nature of such discussions and criticisms.
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