Rights group urges support for UN Sri Lanka panel

Last Updated: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 17:50

Colombo: An international human rights group
has urged the United States and other countries to support a
UN panel investigating alleged rights abuses in Sri Lanka`s
civil war, saying the country has failed to deliver justice to
war crime victims.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said the "support
of the US and other governments for the UN Panel of Experts
and the implementation of its recommendations is crucial."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in June appointed a
three-member panel to advise him on ensuring accountability
for the alleged abuses during Sri Lanka`s war. Sri Lanka has
opposed it.

The United Nations says at least 7,000 civilians were
killed in the last five months before the war ended in May
2009 when government forces finally crushed ethnic Tamil
rebels. They had been fighting for an independent state for a
quarter-century, after decades of discrimination by the
Sinhalese majority. The UN says between 80,000 and 100,000
people were killed during the war.

Human Rights Watch, referring to a US State Department
report released this week, said that "Sri Lanka has not yet
conducted an effective investigation into laws-of-war
violations" by government troops and Tamil rebels.
"The State Department report shows that countries should
be looking toward the UN to see justice done in Sri Lanka,"
said James Ross, the group`s legal and policy director, in a
statement issued last night.

The report to the US Congress was issued by the
department`s Office of War Crimes, evaluating steps taken by
the Sri Lankan government and international bodies in
investigating incidents during the Sri Lankan conflict.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 17:50

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