Wednesday, April 27, 2011

UN urges Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes

New York (editorial / Agencies) .- Two years after the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, United Nations has urged Colombo to investigate human rights violations and war crimes. In a report released today, the UN asked the government of Sri Lanka begin serious research and find out who is responsible for the crimes.

The government troops fighting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam left up to 100,000 dead, according to UN estimates, and traumatized the people, reports DPA. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, had ordered a month ago an expert committee to conduct initial investigations and tonight released its report of 240 pages.

Ban had offered the government in Colombo to spread in parallel position with respect to the allegations, but no answer. The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) has considered today that the UN secretary general, Ban Ki Moon, should follow the recommendations of the experts who have investigated the alleged war crimes committed in Sri Lanka, reports Europa Press.

This team, personally appointed by Ban, advised to make a field investigation to bring to justice those responsible for crimes committed in the final stretch of Sri Lankan war. Ban this Monday clarified that it did not have the authority to make this decision, but HRW is not necessary to have the consent of the Government of the island or an intergovernmental organization to establish a judicial mechanism.

The report of the panel, composed solely of three experts, concludes that both the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) carried out military operations "with blatant disregard for the protection, rights, welfare and the lives of civilians and did not respect the rules of international law.

" In addition, the report states that "the efforts of Sri Lanka, nearly two years after the end of the war, are far below international standards of responsibility and fail to satisfy the joint commitment of the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa , and the Secretary General (UN) or the statutory duties of Sri Lanka.

" According to the director of Human Rights Watch Asia, Brad Adams, these facts prove the need to undertake an international investigation. "Russia and China should stop blocking efforts to get justice for victims in Sri Lanka and support the recommendations of the panel, said in reference to the two countries in the Security Council, both with veto powers, which are against to address this issue.

Since May 2010, the work of three experts has focused on studying "reports, documents and other written information from various agencies, departments, funds, offices and United Nations programs, among others of a different nature. Were also used satellite images, photographs and video.

Instead, they could not work on the ground for the refusal of the Sri Lankan government, which did agree to answer certain questions in writing. The researchers also failed to meet with officials or witnesses of abuse. The experts accuse government forces of bombing hospitals, deprived of humanitarian assistance to population and other rights violations both within and outside the conflict zone.

The report further explains that due to the elimination of the leaders of the LTTE by the government, only government forces may be tried in a hypothetical trial. For their part, the Tamil Tigers used "human shields", killed those who tried to flee his control and used military equipment in the vicinity of civilians.

Also recruited children, forced to perform forced labor and resorted to suicide attacks, collect the HRW statement, which echoes the findings of the report published today. The Sri Lankan government has rejected the work of researchers, which qualifies as illegal, unfounded and unilateral.

China's authorities have launched a media campaign to pressure the UN for their interests. "Unfortunately, the immediate rejection, in part, the Government of Sri Lanka to report demonstrates that there is no possibility of (making) a serious domestic justice process," says Adams in the statement of your organization.

"The only hope for victims of the conflict is an international investigation resulting in convictions. Ban should lose no time in establishing," added the activist.

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