Ban reminds Sri Lanka -again- about accountability

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 October 2011, 01:29 GMT]
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed to the Sri Lankan government importance of dealing with accountability issues in themeeting on Wednesday at United Nations Headquarters in New York with Mahinda Samarasinghe, the Special Envoy of the President of Sri Lanka on Human Rights, the UN news agency said.

The agency said the meeting was part of the UN’s “ongoing dialogue” with the Sri Lankan Government as a follow-up to the Joint Statement made by the Secretary-General and President Mahinda Rajapaksa in May 2009, when Mr. Ban visited the country shortly after the end of the conflict.

Wednesday’s discussion, according to information provided by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson, also touched on the importance of an inclusive national dialogue aimed at achieving genuine political reconciliation, as well as ongoing progress with regard to recovery and resettlement efforts in the north.

Last month, Mr. Ban forwarded a report by a three-member UN panel of experts on accountability issues during the civil war to the Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The panel found there were credible reports that both Government forces and the LTTE committed war crimes during the war’s final months.

In particular its report said up to 40,000 civilians perished in indiscriminate heavy shelling by the Sri Lankan armed forces, part of a military campaign that constituted “systematic persecution” of the Tamil people.

Following publication of the report earlier this year, the Sri Lankan government denounced the report, its authors and Mr. Ban, a stance Colombo maintains.

 

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