Alan Keenan is the Sri Lanka director of theInternational Crisis Group (ICG) whose recent report outlines a consolidation of power in Colombo, calling for an international response to an apparently authoritarian turn. Speaking withSameer Arshad, Keenan discussed a growing lack of accountability, pressure on the judiciary and minority groups — and the steps he thinks the international community must take:
According to the ICG, how is Sri Lanka`s consolidation of power impacting the process of post-war reconciliation?
There is no process of reconciliation or accountability — the government has made no attempt to remedy the long-standing poli-tical marginalisation of Tamils. It has made it clear it has no intention to devolve meaningful power to Tamil and Muslim areas in the north and east. It has refused to acknowledge the terrible suffering of Tamils and the loss of civilian lives in the last stages of the war, focussing only on the sacrifices of government troops.
Also, it has refused to conduct any independent investigations into alleged war crimes by government and LTTE forces or other violations of human rights suffered by members of all of Sri Lanka`s communities. The further concentration of power in the Rajapaksa family and the executive, achieved through the impeachment of the chief justice, will make reconciliation and accountability even harder.