By Jamila Najmuddin
The British Foreign office has named Sri Lanka as a country of concern saying it reflects Britain’s concerns about allegations of serious conflict violations, as well as the deteriorating status of the rule of law and freedom of expression in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is the only country to be added on the annual human rights report by Britain this year as a country of concern and follows recommendations by the Foreign Affairs Committee, the British Foreign office said.
The report, among other issues in Sri Lanka, notes that while there has been little LTTE activity in Sri Lanka following the end of the fighting in May a number of other armed groups continue to operate.
The Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) and cadres loyal to Muralitharan (aka Karuna), a Tamil government minister and former senior LTTE member, are reported to continue to carry arms in the east, the British Foreign office said.
It said that the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam and other Tamil paramilitary groups are alleged to have been active in IDP camps in Vavuniya. And in Jaffna in the far north, Eelam People’s Democratic Party, a government-aligned Tamil political party, is reported to be continuing to engage in paramilitary activity and to threaten political opponents. There have been claims that some of these groups disarmed in the latter stages of 2009 but there has been no verifiable disarmament process. (Daily Mirror online)