European Union Expresses Concern Over Sri Lanka

The European Union expressed “very serious concerns” about reported human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. There are constant reports of abductions, enforced disappearances and unexplained kilings since December, 2005, when hostilities resumed between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels. The had been a quiet period of peace for more than three years in the twenty-five year old war which has raged on the once peaceful island. A six member EU group visited the island and told its government about concerns regarding human rights violations. The EU group also sharply criticised Tamil Tigers for their violation of human rights. The European Union comment came shortly after a US State Department report which cited alleged government abuses including unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and the denial of fair trials.

At least 70,000 people have died as a result of this civil war, but most Western groups interested in human rights issues tend to remain quiet about the conflict. The Israel-Palestinian conflict has probably resulted in less than 7500 dead, but it holds center stage on the anger output of critics of that conflict. Expressions are loosely thrown around such as “genocide” but rarely do these same people express any anger or concern about the death of 70,000.

It is always fascinating how one conflict becomes the center of concern and another is simply ignored despite the fact more people die in it.