Ethnic and religious minorities in Sri Lanka still feel marginalised: American lawmaker

Washington: Sri Lanka's ethnic and religious minorities including Tamils still feel marginalised, seven years after the end of the civil war with the LTTE, a senior American lawmaker has said as he appealed to the Lankan government to take "concrete" steps to address their concerns.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

"The leaders of the new government have made many ambitious promises to advance toward the goal of a stable and prosperous future for all. Now is the time to turn those promises into concrete action," Congressman Danny K Davis said on the House floor on Thursday.

"The US, must assist and support in any way we can, but we must also keep incentives in place such as conditions on military and other aid until the government has accomplished real reform," said the Democratic Party lawmaker from Illinois.

Speaking on the House Floor to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka, he said the Lankan government won the war to keep the Sinhalese and Tamil communities within one country, but has not yet won the peace.

The Sri Lankan government has made commitments on transitional justice and accountability, a political settlement of the ethnic problem, security sector reform, the return of land, the release of Tamil political prisoners, actions to end human rights violations and other ambitious reforms, Davis said.

"Unfortunately, not enough improvement has yet been seen by the Tamils, Christians and Muslims who feel marginalised and discriminated against," the Congressman said.

"Courageous leadership is needed to gain trust if reconciliation is the goal, not just promises.

"Now is the time for real action," Davis said.


Published Date: May 20, 2016 11:26 am | Updated Date: May 20, 2016 11:26 am


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