Sri Lanka: The Most Violent Place - 1999 AHRC Human Rights Message

Place: Sri Lanka | Courtesy: TCNR
| Date: 19991209

Sri Lanka is the most violent place in Asia in recent years. The primary reason is the loss of democratic process, due to non-working of the democratic system.

In 1978, then President Junious Jayawardene acquired Suharto like powers, through a tailor made constitution. The democratic process was suppressed using democratic method. The country has not recovered from this trap ever since. In fact situation is much worse. Ethnic crisis has its roots in this collapse of democracy. The military enjoys all the privileges , without needing to have recourse taking power as in Pakistan. The civilian political leaders have only a limited space. The real power has shifted in favour of democracy. With the use of high tech methods both by military and the rebels, situation is likely be worsen. The casualties from both sides are most rural youth from poorer sections of society. The situation is routinely bloody.

Besides this, there is over 30,000 cases of disappearances which are not properly investigated; thus it is not possible to prosecute most of the disappearances cases. Besides, due to the collapse of the rule of law and the criminal justice brutal crimes takes place daily and life has become very insecure for the people. If there is no intervention by way of UN mediation on the ethnic issue, there is no hope for democracy in Sri Lanka.

In fact, the international community will find, there are many more factors other than ethnicity involved in this crisis. It is above all the primitive nature of the Sri Lankan state, and out dated modes of ruling used by the state agencies such as the police and bureaucracy , that change problems from a solvable into insolvable ones. A most through going reform of the police system is the most basic precondition for returning to normal life in Sri Lanka. The international response to Sri Lanka's continuing gross violation of human rights must be reviewed in the light of the changes of international considerations relating sovereignty, when gross abuses of human rights have taken place in a country.

Courtesy: CENTER FOR JUSTICE & PEACE IN SOUTH ASIA - Thursday 9 December 1999