The ‘Human Rights’ Onslaught

G. H. Peiris

in Twilight of the Tigers

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780195699456
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080229 | DOI:
The ‘Human Rights’ Onslaught

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This chapter focuses on external interventions in the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka exemplified mainly by the pressures brought to bear by the West upon both the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to abandon violent confrontation and instead seek a negotiated settlement of the conflict. Such pressures on the government have taken several forms, from advice and moral persuasion to threat of action against alleged human rights violations. This chapter begins with a study of the changing perceptions concerning human rights as postulated by the United Nations, attempting to contextualize such postulates both in the efforts of human rights activists to ‘globalize’ humanitarian ideals, as well as in the counterpoising desire on the part of most states to safeguard national sovereignty. It then examines external interventions which Sri Lanka has had to encounter in the recent past. Finally, it presents a detailed case study of a multipronged human rights intervention in an episode of the Sri Lankan conflict: the Muttur tragedy.

Keywords: Sri Lanka; Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam; ethnic conflict; external interventions; United Nations; national sovereignty; human rights and its violations; Muttur tragedy

Chapter.  16910 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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