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UN Rights Council: Act on Sri Lanka Report - HRW

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Failure to Follow Up Would Be Shameful
September 13, 2011

(Geneva) – The United Nations Human Rights Council should act on the recommendations in a report commissioned by the UN Secretary-General detailing grave abuses during the final months of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said today. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent the report to the council on September 12, 2011. Ban has said that he would welcome a mandate to establish an international investigation mechanism, the main recommendation of his Panel of Experts report.

In May 2010, Ban commissioned a three-member Panel of Experts to advise him on accountability in Sri Lanka after President Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to investigate alleged laws-of-war violations during the conflict, which ended in 2009. The panel's report, published on April 25, concluded that government forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) conducted military operations “with flagrant disregard for the protection, rights, welfare and lives of civilians and failed to respect the norms of international law.” The report also said that tens of thousands of civilians might have been killed during the last five months of the war, the majority by government shelling.

“When a UN Panel of Experts report concludes up to 40,000 civilians died amid war crimes, the Human Rights Council should feel compelled to act,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The council should order a full international investigation – anything less would be a shameful abdication of responsibility.”

More :: http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/09/13/un-rights-council-act-sri-lanka-report

 

Alleged Sri Lankan war criminal Jagath Dias withdrawn as diplomat from Berlin

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The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)

Alleged Sri Lankan war criminal Jagath Dias withdrawn as diplomat from Berlin

According to media reports, Jagath Dias, a former Sri Lankan Army Commander suspected of having committed war crimes, was withdrawn from the Sri Lankan Embassy in Berlin. Dias held the position of a deputy ambassador for Germany, Switzerland and the Vatican State. It is alleged that the former Major General is responsible for war crimes committed during the final phase of the Sri Lankan civil war. During this phase of the conflict, Dias was one of the leading superiors in the field commanding the armed forces. In January 2011, ECCHR sent a comprehensive dossier substantiating the allegations put forward against Dias to the German Federal Foreign Office and requested the withdrawal of his diplomatic visa. In particular, the dossier listed incidents of attacks carried out by the 57th Division under Dias’ command and directed against civilians in no-fire-zones, as well as against hospitals, religious sites and humanitarian institutions.

More ::
http://www.ecchr.de/index.php/sri-lanka.404.html

 

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.

More :

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/sri-lankas-killing-fields/episode-guide/series-1/episode-1

Video :  June 14 ,2011 ,23:05 (GMT 00:00)
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/4od)  

 

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.

More ::

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/un-report-sri-lanka-conflict-must-be-made-public-2011-04-12

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 April 2011 10:10
 

CWVHR welcomes UN Appointed Panel on Sri Lankan Human Rights Abuses - June 23,2010

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Press Release


June 23, 2010

 

CWVHR welcomes UN Appointed Panel on Sri Lankan Human Rights Abuses

 

The Centre for War Victims and Human Rights(CWVHR) welcomes the formation of the three-member panel, appointed by the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of UN to advise him on how he should be proceeding with the investigation on violation of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law during the last stages of war on Tamils in 2009.

 

CWVHR congratulates the three panelists who have been working on human rights and humanitarian laws issues in various countries. They have contributed significantly on the subject. 

The three members of the panel are Marzuki Darusman, former Attorney General of Indonesia and a member of the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights and, most recently, served as one of the three commissioners of the U.N. commission of inquiry into the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and he will be the chair-person, along with Yasmin Sooka of South Africa who is the executive director of the Foundation for Human Rights in South Africa and served as a commissioner on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  She also served on the international commissioner on the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  And Steven Ratner of the United States,  who is a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, was a former member of the U.N. Group of Experts for Cambodia, whose work laid the basis for the Khmer Rouge trials.

Appointing this panel has taken over a year and still there are concerns raised with regard to responsibility of the panel as well as it’s authority. The committee members would not able to travel to Sri Lanka and would not able to interview the perpetrators of the crime.

 

Many International and local Human Rights groups including CWVHR have in their possession  Video and Photographic proofs, Personally Affected victims and relatives with details and sworn affidavits in the thousands to proof the crimes committed by the Sri Lankan state and other para- military groups.

 

The Sri Lankan state is very unhappy on the appointment of UN Panel and challenging the authority of U.N. Secretary General to investigate their human rights abuses, war crimes,  crimes against humanity and genocide of the Tamils. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris said the appointment of the panel would be "unprecedented"  -  "This is politically unacceptable to Sri Lanka and at this stage would be premature”

Sri Lankan Government is confident that, with the help of China and Russia, the Security Council of UN would never approve such investigation formally and would be same with Human Rights Council as it has the support of representatives from the Asian and African Countries

 

CWVHR believes and hopes that the panel would face all the possible challenges and provide a space for the values of International law and human rights and pave the way to prosecute the perpetrators of the crimes in Sri Lanka.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 19:35
 

War Crimes in Sri Lanka - INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP - NEW REPORT

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Brussels, 17 May 2010: Newly revealed evidence of war crimes in Sri Lanka last year makes an international inquiry essential.

War Crimes in Sri Lanka ,* the latest report from the International Crisis Group, exposes repeated violations of international law by both the Sri Lankan security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the last five months of their 30-year civil war. That evidence suggests that the period of January to May 2009 saw tens of thousands of Tamil civilian men, women, children and the elderly killed, countless more wounded, and hundreds of thousands deprived of adequate food and medical care, resulting in more deaths.

Released on the eve of the first anniversary of the end of the fighting, the report calls for an international inquiry into alleged crimes. The government has conclusively demonstrated its unwillingness to undertake genuine investigations of security force abuses and continues to deny any responsibility for civilian casualties. A true accounting is needed to address the grievances that drive conflict in Sri Lanka, so the international community must take the lead.

More : http://www.crisisgroup.be/flash/sl/sl.html

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 09:23
 


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