The Wall Street Journal has emphasized that there is a real danger that an international war-crimes investigation on Sri Lanka would do more harm than good.
In a comment titled ‘The United Nations and divided Sri Lanka’ Wall Street Journal mentioned that the greater risk is that the international response will tip Sri Lanka closer to losing peace.
The prestigious and influential paper in the comment, with a subtitle “Focus on fixing democracy before investigating the past”, said as the fighting neared its conclusion, the LTTE used thousands of civilians as human shields to try to thwart the army’s advance. It pointed out that the bulk of the Darusman report concerns charges that the Government did not do enough to avoid killing civilians and may even have targeted them.
The “international community” already is deeply discredited in many Sri Lankan eyes for its failure to stand against the neo-Marxist Tigers as they waged bloody battle on Sinhalese and Tamil civilians alike. As the war neared its conclusion, foreign powers criticized the military effort without ever offering a plausible alternative.
The international community would do better to focus on building the institutions that will eventually allow Sri Lankans to grapple with their own war history.
Sri Lanka is at a critical moment as it emerges from a decades-long war and rebuilds its politics and economy. Leaders abroad have to tread carefully, lest they inadvertently push the country back into sectarian strife.