J. S. TissainayagamAugust 28, 2013 05:42
Commentary: The government continues to occupy private land and insert itself in community affairs.
Sri Lankan police officials stand guard outside the United Nations office in Colombo on Aug. 26, 2013, during a demonstration by 'Power of Ravana' Buddhist monks denouncing UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on the first full day of her visit to Sri Lanka. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images)
The Sri Lanka Army has said it will vacate camps in the country’s northern Jaffna Peninsula before crucial provincial elections in September. Despite the international publicity the move has attracted, Jaffna’s residents say there is no significant downtick in overall levels of militarization. Elections to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) next month will be its first. Legislation setting up provincial councils was part of a treaty between India and Sri Lanka, known as the Indo-Lanka Accord. Enacted in 1987, the legislation was primarily for sharing power to resolve conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils, the country’s two largest ethnic groups.