Ban Ki MoonUN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday he was “encouraged” by the Sri Lankan government’s response to a damning UN report about horrific abuses during the war with Tamil Tiger rebels.
Ban’s statement followed the release of the long-awaited report from the UN human rights office on Wednesday which alleged that tens of thousands of people had disappeared during the bitter conflict.
Colombo in response did not commit to the UN’s key recommendation to allow international experts to assist its domestic investigation, but pledged to punish those found guilty of war crimes during the 26-year war.
Ban said he was “encouraged by the response of, and commitment expressed by, the government of Sri Lanka and the opposition to consult widely with all stakeholders and take meaningful action to address these issues.”
He also said he hopes the report’s recommendations would support government efforts in “a genuine and credible process of accountability and reconciliation that meets international standards.”
“The victims of all communities, their families and the Sri Lankan nation itself demand no less than a full and proper reckoning,” Ban said.
The UN report identified patterns of grave violations “strongly indicating that war crimes and crimes against humanity” had been committed by both sides.
The conflict killed more than 100,000 and ended in 2009 with the defeat of the rebels.(AFP)