U.N. presses Sri Lanka to meet commitments on war crimes investigations, reforms
Sri Lanka must make more progress towards meeting commitments to establishing a credible investigation into alleged war crimes during the country’s civil war and enacting reforms, the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) said on Thursday.
The Geneva-based body handed Sri Lanka a two-year extension to implement fully the commitments that were made under a 2015 resolution after the United Nations top human rights official, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, expressed concern at the “slow progress” of reforms in Sri Lanka.
The United Nations and rights groups have accused the Sri Lankan military of killing thousands of civilians, mostly Tamils, during the final weeks of the war and have pressed for justice for the families of those who disappeared.
The United Nations launched a probe in 2014 into war crimes allegedly committed by both state forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels. The government of then-leader Mahinda Rajapaksa resisted the probe and denied U.N. officials entry to the island nation.
Many council members welcomed Sri Lanka’s engagement, but called on President Maithripala Sirisena’s government to present a clear plan aimed at meeting reconciliation, reform and justice commitments.
In the eight years that have passed since the war ended, the government has failed to prosecute alleged war crimes such as torture, unlawful killings and enforced disappearances.
Families whose loved ones disappeared during the conflict have urged the United Nations to pressure the Sri Lankan government to speed up the war crimes probe.
More than 100,000 are believed estimated to have died and some 65,000 went missing during the 26-year conflict.
Sri Lanka’s deputy foreign affairs minister, Harsha De Silva, told the U.N. rights body on Thursday that the government was striving to establish the rule of law and end impunity under “Sri-Lankan government-led processes”.
However, John Fisher, Geneva director of Human Rights Watch, said the president’s opposition to the involvement of foreign judges, which had been agreed in the 2015 resolution, raised questions over the government’s commitment to justice and undermined confidence in the government’s efforts.
“Sri Lanka needs to stop equivocating and move forward with a clear plan and timetable so that the promise of justice and accountability can finally become a reality,” Fisher said in a statement.
Tania Baldwin-Pask, head of international advocacy at Freedom from Torture said security reforms were needed to ensure torture and other abuses were not repeated.
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‘Families whose loved ones disappeared during the conflict have urged the United Nations to pressure the Sri Lankan government to speed up the war crimes probe.’ good then who is going to pressure LTTE for their part in War Crimes?
UN houses one of the biggest missions in Sri Lanka bigger than the US and UK consulates put together staffed by over at least a thousand and and there is reflect their presence except hob nobbing the foreigners. Unless whatever that thy do is sinister!
Why cant the UN conduct an independent investigation to seek answers to whatever they are looking for.
We have in sri lanka master bankers yet our central bank is bankrupt minister ravis idea of foregn exchange is raising loans something that he is not paticularly good at. Then we have managala the moregn minister who makes his annual pilgrimage to geneva and e m ind is so boggled that he is cluless as to what is going or he does not want it resolved bujt he prefers to bend backwards and be dictated by a team of decadent team ot the UNHRC. Rajapaksas ministry is nothing more than an office of circumlocution with cases piling up over generations and he is so steeped in jurisprudence. He runs his ministry like his colleagues ravi and mangala autocratic system within thre system.
Do I make sensr!
My dear Zama,
Firstly, you do not make sense.
Secondly, the former UN Secretary General, Ban-Ki-Moon set up the Dharushman Committee to investigate the war with LTTE.
The previous reqgime of MR outwardly criticised the Dharushman Committee. But the MR’s regime FM, Prof Pieris made personal backdoor submissions to the Committee.
In response to your blog, the UN has already investigated alleged war crimes and has established credible evidence to proceed further. It was SL’s judicial systems, the AG, the Police and CID and the Courts to follow up.
The majority political parties, the SLFP and the UNP, have rubbished the Dharushman Committee report despite the SLFP’s backdoor participation.
Now, the Yahapalana monkeys are attempting to pull wool over international eyes by co-sponsoring UNHRC resolutions which never can be implemented because some of the requirements in the Resolutions do not conform to our constitution.
The Prez, PM and FM are just deceiving the international community by signing off on resolutions that are a bag of bull s***.
If this horse-shit behaviour continues, the UN will have no choice but to conduct a supervised referendum in the North and East for self-determination.
The LTTE leadership was completely eliminated in May 2009. Some 2nd line leaders who surrendered were eliminated on-site.
Two former leaders of the LTTE who were involved in top level decision making in the LTTE leadership are living in luxury under the protection of successive Sinhala governments. If you would like to try the LTTE for war crimes, it is best that you ask questions from those former leaders who are now your best friends.
There are many in Europe claiming to be leading LTTE groups; don’t waste time chasing those vermin; they were and are extortionists and fund collectors. Let the diaspora and the Police in Europe and Canada deal with their nonsense.
Hi Mr. T. Somadindaram, Yes, LTTE had a highly centralized commanding structure. Velupillai was killed. Are you saying he is the only 1st Line who was killed? Then, are you sure, all the 2nd line leaders who surrendered were eliminated on site? No 2nd in line escaped? I do not know how you categorize 1st line and 2nd line. What about the guys below: 1. Vinayagam who is living in France. After Pottu amma, Mathawan Master, Vinayagam was the leader and he was personally responsible for developing ad conducting several attacks that killed civilians and civilian infrastructure, What about Black Tiger Rajeshwari? What about Col. Jeyam, Col PathumaLt Col Arivu, Lt Col. Rathna, Col. Marshall? What about Ms. Balasigham Adelide who tied Synaide capsules around young girls and trained LTTE women (now happily living in the UK). Who gave commads to kill devoties under Sri Maha Bodhiya, Who gave command to destroy UNESCO heritage site Dalada Maligawa? Who gave command to kill young Bikkus in Arantalawa? Who gave command to kill hundreds of civilians in main bus station in Colombo. I ca go on my brother Somasundaram. Are you saying these culprits do not deserve justice? I your raking are the 4th in line or 5th in line. Come Mr. Somasundaram, you can do better than this. In government side 1st in Command Field M. Sarath Fonseka is there. Please try him.
I heard of the report that you write of but did not know much about it. However I googled but did not come across the report nor any citations in this connection. Kneeeranjala Keerithi’ assertion on the investigative reporting does not mean for they do not go beyond fiction for none report on any tangible evidence like skeletal remains of any of the thousands slaughtered! If you take time to visit the UN library there are thousands of reports on issues related to sri lanka with time most of these end up in thrash bins just like the Dharushan Commission report that you write of. I
Any writing without any tangible evidence belong to the realm of fiction regardless of who is responsible.
It is the responsiblity of the government to set up a tribunal to do some investigation outside the judiciary that follows time tested procedures and documented.
We have since independence witnessed conflicts where thousands died and went unaccounted the most brutal of which was to contain jvp inspired terrorism and those that died has gone unaccounted. Those that survived went through unprecedented torture and what was the UN doing then!
Dear Mr Amarakoon,
I wish the Sinhala leaders of Sri Lanka were as feisty as you are.
All those Vinayagam’s and Balasingham’s are terrible war crime perpetrators including that Catho Priest Boss of some shit of a world tamil group.
Go for them, Amarakoon, you and your Sinhala Buddhist leaders; the tamils will not raise a finger.
Unfortunately, the Sinhala leaders are totally incapable of hunting down poor Lasantha’s killers and know not where Ekneligoda ended up? How can you even think of getting an extradition order on Balasingham when such orders need to be based on credible evidence produced in SL Courts and the Magistrate orders the extradition.
This is why I was saying that you are unable to charge the 2 top remaining leaders whom you are protecting in your bosom, perhaps the guys are of benefit to your leaders, past and present.
Tongue twisters, that’s what you are.
C’mon, get international prosecutors and international judges and track them down, whoever they are and wherever they may be, even in Paget Road.
We are with you Brother Amarakoon, all the way if you are bloody sincere in your pursuits.
That’s an excellent way forward, Thuleepan.
A criminal, whether war criminal or non-war crimnal, is acriminal and justice must be pursued.
It doesn’t matter whether you are Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, politician, civillian, serviceman, terrorist or whoever, a criminal is a criminal and society should weed out and isolate and perhaps, rehabilitate them.
The pursuit of justice requires will and sincerity and capability and capacity. The will and sincerity comes from within the country while capability and capacity, if not available internally, could be sourced from external sources.
There you go, international investigators, international prosecutors and international judges; that’s the best way forward.