ANC supports UN experts’ recommendations on Sri Lanka war crimes

[TamilNet, Saturday, 07 May 2011, 01:19 GMT]
Endorsing the recommendations of the UN expert panel’s report on war crimes in Sri Lanka, the African National Congress (ANC) criticised Colombo’s use of “a military solution of resolving problems [between conflicting parties]” and called on the government “to take immediate steps to address the core grievances of the Tamil population and engage in a genuine reconciliation process.” The ANC noted that one of the UN experts was a prominent South African jurist, Yasmin Sooka, and said it “has consistently condemned any act of violation of human rights in all conflict areas.

Amongst its recommendations, the UN expert panel said Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon “should immediately proceed to establish and independent international mechanism”, which should - concurrently – (i) “monitor and assess the extent to which [Sri Lanka] is carrying out an effective domestic accountability mechanism”, (ii) “conduct investigations independently into the alleged violations” and (iii) “collect and safeguard for appropriate future use” information relevant to accountability for the final stages of Sri Lanka’s war.

The full text of the ANC statement on the UN panel of experts' recommendations on Sri Lanka follows:

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, had appointed a Panel of Experts to advise him on accountability in the Sri Lankan conflict. Amongst those who served on the panel is Yasmin Sooka, a prominent South African jurist. The Panel of Experts concluded that there were serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by both the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers Tamil Eelam (LTTE), some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The African National Congress has consistently condemned any act of violation of human rights in all conflict areas. We therefore urge all conflicting parties to resolve problems through peaceful dialogue and negotiation. We have noted, with regret, that breakdown of the ceasefire and the negotiations between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE led to a military solution of resolving the problems.

The ANC supports the recommendations of the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Panel of Experts that called for the establishment of an independent body to investigate all violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws committed in the conflict.

We also call on the government of Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to address the core grievances of the Tamil population and engage in a genuine reconciliation process.

Issued by:
Head of International Relations
Dr Ebrahim Ebrahim
African National Congress

 

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