Attempts to incorporate Tamils in the democratic process in Sri Lanka have been blocked by the intolerance of LTTE Tigers, Secretary general of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP), Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha said.
Wijesinha speaking in a right of reply at the 6th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva said the Sri lankan government tried to be pluralistic, but the efforts of Tamil Tigers had reduced the participation of Tamils in the Government and in the army over recent years.
He said this in response to a comment made by Visuvalingham Kirupataran, a representative of the non governmental organization Interfaith International that systematic discriminatory legislation had proved that racism and xenophobia existed in Sri Lanka.
SCOPP Secretary General said the government regrets as much as the NGO representative the lack of Tamils in the armed forces and high positions in the government of Sri Lanka, but the practice arose due to the intolerance of Tigers.
He said the former Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, a Tamil, was killed precisely because he participated in the democratic process.
`It was important to recognise that there was tremendous pressure on minorities by the Tigers not to join the police and the army. The world should realise that the attempts of the government to move towards pluralism were stymied by attacks by the Tigers on those Tamils who were trying to participate fully in the democratic process,` he said.