UNITED NATIONS (BNO NEWS) — The United Nations (UN) on Tuesday announced that its report indicating that both government and rebel forces committed war crimes during Sri Lanka’s civil has been sent to the human rights body for review.
A UN three-member panel found credible reports that both Government forces and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have committed war crimes in the final months leading up to May 2009, when Government forces declared victory over the separatists.
According to the findings, the report indicated allegations of serious violations committed by the Government, including the killing of civilians through widespread shelling and the denial of humanitarian assistance.
The panel – which is chaired by Marzuki Darusman of Indonesia and comprising Yasmin Sooka of South Africa and Steven Ratner of the United States – also said that credible allegations regarding the LTTE concerned numerous serious violations, including using civilians as a human buffer and killing civilians attempting to flee LTTE control.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent the report to the UN human rights chief and the President of the Human Rights Council, his spokesman said, adding that the Sri Lankan Government has been informed of the Secretary-General’s decision.
“While the Secretary-General had given time to the Government of Sri Lanka to respond to the report, the Government has declined to do so, and instead has produced its own reports on the situation in the north of Sri Lanka, which are being forwarded along with the panel of experts report,” Ban’s spokesman stated.
The panel recommended that the Government respond to the allegations by initiating an effective accountability process beginning with genuine investigations. In addition, it recommended a review of the UN’s actions regarding the implementation of its humanitarian and protection mandates during the war in Sri Lanka – particularly in the last stages – and its aftermath.
Thoraya Obaid, former Executive Director of the UN Population Fund has been asked to conduct the review, which should begin soon, the UN said.