AEI Forum Concludes United States Should Press Sri Lanka to Ensure Meaningful Reconciliation and Equal Rights

Published On Friday, February 18, 2011
On Friday, February 11, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) held a forum to discuss possible solutions for achieving meaningful reconciliation and lasting peace in Sri Lanka following decades of ethnic and internal conflict. The panelists included Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation, Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham of the Tamil American Peace Initiative, Jennifer Leonard of International Crisis Group and Don Camp, former principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia. The forum was moderated by AEI’s Sadanand Dhume.

The panel widely agreed that transparency and accountability are critical elements to a successful reconciliation process, and that the Sri Lankan government is not doing enough to promote equal rights and opportunities for all Sri Lankans. The credibility of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission, formed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate the 26-year long war, was repeatedly called into question.

There was general consensus among the panelists that the United States must play a greater role in the Sri Lankan peace process and demonstrate to the world that it will not tolerate apathy towards protecting human rights, equality and the rule of law. Several of the participants also argued the United States should implore the Sri Lankan government to decentralize power, foster open debate about the war, and work harder to carry out the will of the people.

To see an archived webcast of the forum, please visit
About TAPI
The Tamil American Peace Initiative was formed by a group of Tamil Americans to help bring lasting peace, justice, democracy, good governance and economic development to Sri Lanka; to focus attention on the destruction of Tamil communities and culture caused by almost three decades of war; and to demand an end to the continuing oppression of Tamils on the island.

Contact T. Kopperat or +1.202.879.9384 for additional information or to arrange an interview with Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham.
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