Sunday, 23 November 2014
Home Tamil Affairs International Affairs Editorial Opinion Feature Culture & Community Interviews
Latest Entries:
UN Rights chief renews call for Sri Lanka war-crimes probe
TamilNet 02 June 2010 Print ArticleE-mail ArticleFeedback On Article
   

The United Nations human rights chief, Navaneetham Pillay on 31 May reiterated her call for an "independent international probe" into Sri Lanka Government's final offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the final months of the war in 2009.

 

While noting the appointment of "post-war reconciliation commission" by Colombo, Navi Pillay said, "based on previous experience and new information, I remain convinced that such objectives [looking into alleged human rights violations, and provide justice to victims] would be better served by establishing an independent international accountability mechanism that would enjoy public confidence, both in Sri Lanka and elsewhere," AFP reported.

 

Pillay assessed that some progress has been made since the end of the conflict in the return and resettlement of displaced people, according to AFP.

 

"Concrete initiatives must now follow to provide justice and redress to victims and generally to promote accountability and longer-term reconciliation," AFP quoted Navi Pillay as saying.

 

"Yet another feckless commission is a grossly inadequate response to the numerous credible allegations of war crimes," said Elaine Pearson, acting Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

 

"Damning new evidence of abuses shows why the UN should not let Sri Lanka sweep these abuses under the carpet," added Pearson in an HRW media release.

 

The commission is to be headed by former attorney general Chitta Ranjan de Silva, and includes two Tamil members.

 

"De Silva was the architect and enforcer of the attorney general's conflict of interest role with respect to the 2006 commission," said Arthur Dewey, former US assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and member of the IIGEP [International Independent Group of Eminent Persons].

 

"Nothing good for human rights or reconciliation is likely to come from anything in which De Silva is involved," said HRW report quoting Dewey.

 

“Evidence gathered by Crisis Group provides reasonable grounds to believe that during these months [the security forces intentionally and repeatedly shelled civilians, hospitals and humanitarian operations,” New York Times said quoting from the text of the ICG report, and added that “[i]t [the report] also provides reason to believe that senior government and military officials were aware of the massive civilian casualties due to the security forces’ attacks, but failed to protect the civilian population as they were obliged to under the laws of war.”

 

State run Daily News listed the objectives of the Colombo appointed Commission as follows:

i. the facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the Ceasefire Agreement operationalized on February 21, 2002 and the sequence of events that followed thereafter up to May 19, 2009;

 

ii. whether any person, group, or institution directly or indirectly bear responsibility in this regard;

 

iii. the lessons we would learn from those events and their attendant concerns, in order to ensure that there will be no recurrence;

 

iv. the methodology whereby restitution to any person affected by those events or their dependents or to heirs, can be effected;

 

v. the institutional administrative and legislative measures which need to be taken in order to prevent any recurrence of such concerns in the future, and to promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities, and to make any such other

 

"The text describing the mandate of the commission reflects the farcity of the exercise. The language avoids any mention of "human rights violations," leave alone the mention of "war crimes," and many reputable NGOs have dismissed the Commission as a "sham." However, some members of the civilized world have given cautious acceptance, and this would buy some time to the rogue state that wants the world to forget the massacres in Vanni. We hope that the Commissioner takes steps to follow up on her call and thereby add credibility to Kofi Annan's statement in NYT that "in the face of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, the default position of the international community is no longer impunity but accountability,"" said a spokesperson for the US-based activist group, Tamils Against Genocide (TAG).

 

A former UN spokesperson in Colombo, who was later evicted by Colombo, estimated that close to 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed by the Sri Lanka military during the final five months of the war. United Nations officials, despite having evidence, satellite images and on the ground casualty figures, concealed the details from outside world.

 
Share on Facebook Print ArticlePrint Article E-mail ArticleE-mail Article Feedback On ArticleFeedback On Article
 
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Tamil Affairs
Tamil Guardian 23 November 2014
Sri Lanka arrests 14 Indian fishermen
Sri Lankan authorities have arrested 14 Indian fishermen, claiming that they were poaching in Sri Lankan waters. The Sri Lankan navy also took into custody three fishing trawlers that belonged to the fishermen. [more]

Tamil Guardian 23 November 2014
TNA to decide on common opposition candidate endorsement
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is to meet on Monday to decide on whether to endorse the common opposition candidate, former general secretary of the SLFP, Maitripala Sirisena. [more]

Tamil Guardian 22 November 2014
Ambassador Sison confirmed for top UN posts

The US Ambassador for Sri Lanka, Michele Sison, has been confirmed as the deputy representative of the United States to the UN and the UN Security Council, and the representative of the US at the UN General Assembly. [more]

Tamil Guardian 22 November 2014
No Fire Zone documentary wins BRITDOC Impact award

The ‘No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ documentary was one of 5 documentaries to win a BRITDOC Impact prize on Friday.

The awards, [more]

Tamil Guardian 22 November 2014
Foreign actors attempting to destabilise Sri Lanka through common candidate says SLFP
A group of senior members of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) described Maithripala Sirisena's adoption of the common candidate role as a foreign attempt to destabilise Sri Lanka. [more]

Tamil Guardian 22 November 2014
UNHRC credibility eroding - Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government has questioned the credibility of the UN Human Rights Council, over its decision to pursue an independent inquiry into mass atrocities in Sri Lanka, despite its objections, reported Colombo Gazette. [more]

Tamil Guardian 22 November 2014
Posters commemorating Maaveerar Naal emerge at Jaffna university
Posters commemorating Maaveerar Naal have gone up around Jaffna university campus this week, reports Nam Thesam. “Our tearful respect to our martyrs who sacrificed their lives for our nation to bloom and to our people killed by state terrorism, [more]

Tamil Guardian 21 November 2014
Tamil Nadu asked to ban celebrations of LTTE by BJP's Swamy
Tamil Nadu politicians who called for the birthday of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader, to be celebrated were threatened with calls for arrest under the National Security Act, on Friday. [more]


Print Editions

 
 

Contact Tamil Guardian
www.tamilguardian.com