Prominent women’s rights activists in India in a statement this week said that they had stopped believing in Colombo’s periodic pledges to bring about reconciliation in the country, reports Indian Express. “We no longer believe the empty promises of the Sri Lankan government to bring peace and reconciliation, and strongly demand immediate action that will convince us of the seriousness of this intent,”
the statement of the rights activists said. Saying that women were among the worst hit in the dragging conflict in Sri Lanka that began in 1983, the activists faulted the Sri Lankan government for not acknowledging the range of rights violations committed by its armed forces, even two years after the Tamil Tigers were crushed and condemned the Indian government for its silence and participation.
“We strongly condemn the Indian government’s silence and active participation in many of the human rights violations meted out by the Sri Lankan government,” the statement said.
“We strongly urge the Indian government to desist from participating in industrial and developmental projects in Sri Lanka where they result in permanent loss of the land and livelihood or ethnic cleansing of war-displaced minorities,” their statement further said.
Historian Uma Chakravarty, Professor Ilina Sen and Lakshmi Lingam, Rohini Hensman, Saheli, Mumbai’s Forum Against Oppression of Women, and Mary. E. John, director of New Delhi’s Centre for Women’s Development Studies were among the signatories.