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The BBC Sinhala Service, in asking for comments on the 2010 US Report on Human Rights in Sri Lanka gave me little notice, and suggested I could just glance through the synopsis with which the report began. As it happened, I was able to look through some of the rest, which was good, because I discovered a mismatch between the introduction and the rest of the report. The former engaged in sharply critical generalizations, and predictably the introduction alone was used in ‘The Sunday Leader’. The rest of the report was more circumspect, and did not bear out the harsh generalizations.

In fact, some of the points made should be looked at carefully by the Sri Lankan government. In particular, the few cases for which details are given should be addressed. Some names are mentioned in Part a) of the first section of the report. These, significantly, give the lie to a generalization in the introduction, that ‘a disproportionate number of victims of human rights violations were Tamils’.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

April 2011
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