Ravi Nair


Human rights groups have limited their role to monitoring and

protesting human rights violations committed by state actors.! With the

emergence of armed opposition groups-such as the Sendero Luminoso in

Peru2 and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka 3 -that

murder, torture, and destroy civil society in their respective regions,

human rights entities must question whether they should broaden their

mandate to include abuses committed by such groups. Focusing on the

context of India, this article: (1) develops arguments encouraging human

rights groups to critique abuses perpetrated by armed opposition groups;

(2) suggests potential problems that may be encountered in making such

criticisms; and (3) raises some reasons for caution by human rights

organizations that condemn the actions of armed opposition groups.