Both New Delhi and Tokyo often contend that their efforts at polite persuasion are more effective than the public condemnation they describe as the “western way”.
There is a time and place for private diplomacy, but for years now the Sri Lankan government has ignored such behind-the-scenes advice. In any case, private diplomacy should never become an excuse for inaction in the face of grave human-rights violations.
Ban Ki-moon’s panel of experts, although modest, could yet prove to be an important step toward accountability for wartime abuses in Sri Lanka. India and Japan should publicly and wholeheartedly support this initiative.