The police state known as Sri Lanka

Brahma Chellaney is on the advisory council of the UK-based Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice (as am I).

His latest piece for the Guardian reminds us that the country’s upcoming election is between two alleged war criminals and the Tamils are likely to remain the meat in the sandwich, abused and feted by the major powers:

How elusive the peace dividend remains can be seen from the government’s decision to press ahead with the expansion of an already-large military. The Sri Lankan military is bigger in troop strength than the British and Israeli militaries, having expanded fivefold since the late 1980’s to more than 200,000 troops today. In victory, that strength is being raised further, in the name of “eternal vigilance”.

With an ever-larger military machine backed by village-level militias, civil society has been the main loser. Sweeping emergency regulations remain in place, arming the security forces with expansive powers of search, arrest, and seizure of property. Individuals can still be held in unacknowledged detention for up to 18 months.

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