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'The Elders' slam Sri Lanka for lacking 'reconciliation'

By Nairita Das

London, August 4 (ANI): 'The Elders', a council of retired global leaders led by Desmond Tutu has slammed Sri Lanka, based on its report, for lacking post-war reconciliation. They also expressed their disappointment over its slow pace of improvement in allowing "proper media reporting".

"The ongoing persecution and disappearances of human rights activists, journalists and government opponents is truly terrifying," the BBC quoted Tutu, the former head of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as saying.

Sri Lanka has not improved to the extent that one would have hoped, there should be more transparency and a climate which allowed proper media reporting," Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari said.

According to the report by The Elders - a group of leaders brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007 to address major causes of human suffering, meaningful progress on reconciliation in Sri Lanka is still desperately needed and condemned the government's persecution of its critics as "terrifying".

"There is a deafening global silence to Sri Lanka's worrying approach to human rights, good governance and accountability, which may encourage other states to act in a similar way," the report states.

However, an MP from Sri Lanka's governing coalition, Rajiva Wijesinha, said that retired elders are "simplifying and preaching" instead of making recommendations to build on the positive change.

The Elders group includes former Irish President Mary Robinson, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi and former US President Jimmy Carter and Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari as its members. (ANI)

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