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UN repeats call for war crimes probe in Sri Lanka

The United Nations (UN) has repeated its call for an independent investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the last stage of the war between Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

world Updated: Mar 04, 2010 20:35 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

The United Nations (UN) has repeated its call for an independent investigation into alleged war crimes committed in the last stage of the war between Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Agency reports from Geneva said that UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Thursday again called for an independent investigation into war crimes allegations in Sri Lanka stating that human rights abuses in the country were damaging prospects of reconciliation after 25 years of the civil war.

“I am convinced that Sri Lanka should undertake a full reckoning of the grave violations committed by all sides during the war, and that the international community can be helpful in this regard,” Pillai said in her annual report at the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.

A Sri Lankan team is in Geneva to attend the session.

A former UN official recently said it was possible that between 10000 and 40000 Tamil civilians could have been killed in the final stages of the war which ended in the third week of May, 2009. Gordon Weiss was UN’s spokesperson and is now retired.

The Human Rights Council held a special session on Sri Lanka May 26 and 27 May, at the initiative of Germany and supported by European Union members among others.

Pillay in opening the session had called for an international investigation into alleged war crimes by the government and LTTE.

At that session the Human Rights Council had adopted a resolution tabled by Sri Lanka and backed by countries that included China, Russia, and India, which welcomed the government of Sri Lanka’s commitment to promote and protect human rights and welcomed its announcement that it would resettle the bulk of refugees in six months. According to a Security Council statement, the final resolution contained no mention of an international investigation nor did it express concern for the IDPs.

The statement added that human rights groups voiced their disappointment that the resolution did not address allegations of human rights and humanitarian law by government forces and only focused on abuses by the LTTE.