09/27/2011, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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"Democratic" Sri Lanka includes militarization of the country

by Melani Manel Perera
The denunciation of the Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM). In the Northern Province, the army is still in service and imposes continuing restrictions, despite the end of the war in 2009. Christian activists for human rights: "An end to silence, we must act to protect our brothers and sisters."
Colombo (AsiaNews) - "Despite being a democratic state, Sri Lanka is becoming a militarized country and people are afraid to talk." This was revealed by the Christian Solidarity Movement (CSM) in a special seminar to raise awareness, stressing that the Church must act for the betterment of the human being, but without getting involved in party politics, because "as Christians we must protect our brothers and sisters ". The meeting, entitled "Current strategies for development and militarization", took place yesterday at the Colombo Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), with the participation of members of the clergy and representatives of civil society.

Returning from a two-day visit to Jaffna (Northern Province), the Christian activist for human rights Lakshana Fernando said: "The people of Jaffna are still living in fear, not peace. And although the war is over, there are still many restrictions. The war widows, without any subsidy, are struggling to raise their children. That people are living without dignity and without hope. "

The situation is particularly critical for the majority Tamil populations of northern and eastern provinces. From 1983 to 2009, these areas of Sri Lanka were the scene of a bloody civil war between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels (LTTE) that wanted to create an independent state (Tamil Eelam) in those provinces. The long ethnic conflict ended with the defeat of the rebels. According to a disputed UN report, published last April 24, the military bombing killed more than 40 thousand civilians in the last phase of the conflict (2005-2009).

"Sri Lanka can not militarized - human rights activist and attorney, JC Weliamuna, pointed out - because it is not a military state. Moreover, the war is over. Soldiers must stay inside the barracks. Or be discharged and reintegrated into society. It is fair to wonder why military personnel are still in service, even after the conflict. "

"Even God did not touch the freedom of man” - said Mahinda Namal, CSM activist at the end of the seminar. “But we, as Christians and activists, we can no longer keep quiet while watching freedom be buried. We must act against what is happening, if we want to live as free people in this country, enjoying our rights.
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