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Saturday, June 15, 2024

UN panel admits international failure in Vanni war, calls for investigations

“During the final stages of the war, the United Nations political organs and bodies failed to take actions that might have protected civilians,” said the United Nations Panel on Sri Lanka in its final report to Secretary General Ban-ki Moon. The report has also admitted that the UN system knowingly failed to release the casualty figures of the civilians. Although the report didn’t touch the hot topic of serious allegations against the role the UN officials and certain responsible personalities associated with world powers, it said: The Secretary-General should conduct a comprehensive review of actions by the United Nations system during the war in Sri Lanka and the aftermath, regarding the implementation of its humanitarian and protection mandates.

“[A]lthough senior international officials advocated in public and in private with the Government that it protect civilians and stop the shelling of hospitals and United Nations or ICRC locations, in the Panel’s view, the public use of casualty figures would have strengthened the call for the protection of civilians while those events in the Vanni were unfolding,” the report said.

“The Human Rights Council should be invited to reconsider its May 2009 Special Session Resolution (A/HRC/8-11/L. 1/Rev. 2) regarding Sri Lanka, in light of this report.”

The UN panel report, rightfully acknowledged the serious allegations on the Sri Lankan state.

Commenting on the report, a key Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader told TamilNet: “However, wasting time with expecting the historically failed Sri Lankan state to come up with mature measures, would only allow the Sri Lankan state to continue with its genocidal programme to a level beyond reparation in practice.”

“The global community should not water down the international responsibility in the case of Eezham Tamils in the island,” was the opinion of the TNA politician who didn’t wish to be named as he said he was already “locked” in a “hopeless process” and refused to specify what he meant by the “process”.

“Now as the report is out, the global Tamil community will have to keep a sharp and objective eye on the way how the UN system and the countries who have a moral obligation by their commitment to Human Rights and the Responsibility to Protect, to act, not only their role in the accountability process, but also to address the root causes of the conflict and protect Tamils as a nation against the still ongoing genocidal programme of the Sri Lankan state in the island of Sri Lanka,” the politician further said adding that the TNA cannot do much from the island under the prevailing circumstances.

“Even our parliamentary group leader finds himself in a deadlock situation where he has been instructed to adopt to the so-called Sri Lankan national anthem. That is the situation here,” the Tamil politician further said, urging global Tamil community to act as a whole in taking the responsibility to inspire global action against the Sri Lankan state before it becomes too late. He said that the Sri Lankan state was following the Israeli model of occupation of the traditional Tamil homeland.


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