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Sri Lanka's Killing Fields : channel4.com

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Jon Snow presents a forensic investigation into the final weeks of the quarter-century-long civil war between the government of Sri Lanka and the secessionist rebels, the Tamil Tigers. The programme features devastating new video evidence of war crimes - some of the most horrific footage Channel 4 has ever broadcast.

Captured on mobile phones, both by Tamils under attack and government soldiers as war trophies, the disturbing footage shows: the extra-judicial executions of prisoners; the aftermath of targeted shelling of civilian camps; and dead female Tamil fighters who appear to have been raped or sexually assaulted, abused and murdered.

The film is made and broadcast as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon faces growing criticism for refusing to launch an investigation into 'credible allegations' that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes during the closing weeks of the bloody conflict with the Tamil Tigers.

In April 2011, Ban Ki-moon published a report by a UN-appointed panel of experts, which concluded that as many as 40,000 people were killed in the final weeks of the war between the Tamil Tigers and government forces.

It called for the creation of an international mechanism to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed by government forces and the Tamil Tigers during that time.

This film provides powerful evidence that will lend new urgency to the panel's call for an international inquiry to be mounted, including harrowing interviews with eye-witnesses, new photographic stills, official Sri Lankan army video footage, and satellite imagery.

Also examined in the film are some of the horrific atrocities carried out by the Tamil Tigers, who used civilians as human shields.

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Video :  June 14 ,2011 ,23:05 (GMT 00:00)


Discussion on UN Expert Panel Report : Canada

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Discussion on UN Expert Panel Report
Date: May 1, 2011 Sunday
Time: 9:30 - 12:00 am
Place: Scarborough Civic Centre ,Council Chamber
What is the content of the report?
What kind of pressure could be brought to implement the recommendations of the report?
 How can we contribute towards truth and justice?
Activists, experts, journalists, general public all are welcome.
Organized by:
Centre for War Victims and Human Rights
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Last Updated on Friday, 29 April 2011 20:45

Panel of experts finds credible reports of war crimes during Sri Lanka conflict – UN

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25 April 2011 – The panel of experts set up to adviseSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon on accountability issues with respect to the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka has found credible reports of war crimes committed by both the Government and Tamil rebels and calls for genuine investigations into the allegations, according to a report made public today by the United Nations.

The decision to release the report, which was submitted to the Secretary-General on 12 April and shared with the Sri Lankan Government, was made as a “matter of transparency and in the broader public interest,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General sincerely hopes that this advisory report will make a contribution to full accountability and justice so that the Sri Lankan Government and people will be able to proceed towards national reconciliation and peace,” the statement added.

Mr. Ban is carefully reviewing the report’s conclusions and recommendations, “including its disturbing assessment that a number of allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by both the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government of Sri Lanka are credible, some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Government forces declared victory over the rebel LTTE in May 2009 after a conflict that had raged on and off for nearly three decades and killed thousands of people. The conflict ended with large numbers of Sri Lankans living as internally displaced persons (IDPs), especially in the north of the island country.

The panel found credible allegations that comprise five core categories of potential serious violations committed by the Government in the final stages of the conflict, including killing of civilians through widespread shelling and the denial of humanitarian assistance.

The credible allegations concerning the LTTE comprise six core categories of potential serious violations, including using civilians as a human buffer and killing civilians attempting to flee LTTE control.

The panel’s first recommendation is that the Government of Sri Lanka should respond to the serious allegations by initiating an effective accountability process beginning with genuine investigations.







UN report on Sri Lanka conflict must be made public :Amnesty International

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12 April 2011

A UN report on accountability for war crimes committed in the Sri Lankan armed conflict must be made public, Amnesty International said today as a panel of experts submit their findings to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“Sri Lankans must be allowed to see the panel’s findings. The report concerns a critical period in their recent history and they deserve to read it in full,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director. 

“Ban Ki-moon said that ‘accountability is an essential foundation for durable peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka’. He must stick to his word - accounting for violations committed in the recent conflict is the first step to future reconciliation”.

The UN Panel of Experts was appointed in June 2010 to advise the Secretary General on accountability issues relating to violations of international human rights and humanitarian law alleged in the final stages of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, which ended in May 2009.

The panel was also asked to recommend a course of action that would ensure accountability, in line with a joint commitment made by President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka and Ban Ki-moon on his visit to Sri Lanka in May 2009. 

Amnesty International has called on the UN to launch an independent international investigation into alleged crimes, which include the killing of more than 10,000 civilians; the LTTE’s use of civilians as human shields and conscription of child soldiers; Sri Lankan army shelling of areas densely populated by civilians; and severe deprivation of food, water and medical care for people trapped by fighting.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 14 April 2011 10:10

Human Rights Day 2010

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Human Rights Day 2010: Time to Establish International War Crime inquiry in Sri Lanka


The promotion and protection of human rights has been a major challenge  for the United Nations since 1945, when the Organization's founding nations resolved that the horrors of The Second World War should never be allowed to recur. 


Respect for human rights and human dignity "is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world", the General Assembly declared three years later in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.


On the eve of Human Rights Day on December 10, 2010, the President of the CWVHR, Mr. Anton Philip says the Sri Lankan Human rights situation illustrates the dangers and abuse to which the people of the Nation are subjected.


In the recent days, numerous credible evidences emerging to point a serious breach of International law amounting to a war crime in Sri Lanka. In a report, WAR CRIMES IN SRI LANKA, the International Crisis Group said, “The scale of civilian deaths and suffering demands a response. Peace in Sri Lanka requires some measure of justice. An UN-sponsored international inquiry should be the first step in producing a comprehensive and credible record of the final months of Sri Lanka’s war.”


In a report on December 8, 2010, the Human rights Watch said, “The New evidence links the Sri Lankan army's 53 Division to the alleged summary execution of prisoners on May 18, 2009, during the final hours of the 26-year armed conflict in Sri Lanka. Human Rights Watch repeated its call for the United Nations to undertake a full investigation into wartime abuses. This horrific new evidence demonstrates graphically that the Sri Lankan army engaged in summary executions of prisoners during the final days of fighting in May 2009," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "The government's failure to investigate these serious war crimes in the face of overwhelming evidence shows the need for an independent, international investigation."


The Elders in a statement in May said, “The Elders believe an independent, international inquiry, with the ability to gather evidence within the country, is the best option. We hope this will be the recommendation of the expert panel due to be set up to advise the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon.”


On this year's human rights day, the CWVHR  urging the UN and all other human rights defenders to work together and establish an independent International Investigation on the Sri Lankan war crimes, without further delay and bring justice to the affected population. A public forum is organized by CWVHR to commemorate the International Human Rights Day at Scarborough Civic Centre on December 10th from 7.00 p.m. to 9.00 pm


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