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Sunday, March 3, 2024

UN SG presses for rights accountability in Sri Lanka

John Paul Putney

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] reemphasized Wednesday the importance of accountability issues in Sri Lanka related to conflicts with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) [JURIST news archive]. The comments came during a meeting with Mahinda Samarasinghe [UN News Centre report], the Special Envoy of the President of Sri Lanka on Human Rights, as part of the UN’s ongoing dialogue with the Colombo government [VOA report].
The secretary-general also stressed “the importance of an inclusive national dialogue aimed at achieving genuine political reconciliation, as well as ongoing progress with regard to recovery and resettlement efforts in the north” where large numbers of internally displaced persons currently live. Earlier this week, Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland refused to allow a war crimes case against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa [official website] despite charges that were filed [JURIST reports] by an Australian citizen claiming that during the 2009 Sri Lankan civil war, civilian targets were intentionally bombed by military forces. The charges follow closely behind a call last week [JURIST report] from the International Commission of Jurists, Australian Section (ICJA) [advocacy website] for Australia to investigate a top ranking official in the Sri Lankan High Commission [official website] in Canberra for war crimes violations allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan Navy during clashes with the LTTE in 2009. Earlier this month, Samarasinghe, announced the Cabinet of Ministers has adopted the National Action Plan [JURIST report] for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights. Last month, Ban sent a report to the UN Human Rights Council [official website] accusing Sri Lankan troops of killing tens of thousands of civilians [JURIST report] during the civil war. In April, a UN panel of experts on Sri Lanka found credible allegations of war crimes [JURIST report] committed during the country’s war with the LTTE, warranting further investigation



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