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HENB | New Delhi | Sept 18, 2015:: On Sept 16, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein finally released the Sri Lanka war crimes investigation report prepared by his office. The nearly 300-pages reports declare that “serious war crimes” and “human right violations” were committed by the Sri Lankan military tagging the activities of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the island’s 26-year war.
Around 200,000 people, mainly members of the ethnic Hindu Tamil minority, were killed during the conflict that commenced in 1983. According to an earlier UN report, an estimated 40,000 Tamil civilians trapped in the war zone, were killed during the final months of the military offensive in the year 2009 specifically.
Read also: A Reckoning on Sri Lanka War Crimes – NYT.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) prepared the report in response to a US-sponsored resolution passed at the March 2014 session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The resolution had nothing to do with genuine concerns about Colombo’s human rights violations but sought to advance Washington’s strategic interests.
This long-awaited UN report has detailed horrific abuses committed in Sri Lanka’s civil war and said the country needed international help to probe the crimes to enable reconciliation.
Read also: Modi’s Lanka war crime fix – The Telegraph, Calcutta.
The US and its Western allies fully endorsed the then Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s resumption of the war in 2006. They only began to criticise his government’s human rights violations during the final months of the military onslaught, in response to China becoming Sri Lanka’s main supplier of weapons and aid.
US “human rights” posturing sought to pressure Rajapakse to end close ties with Beijing and bring Colombo into line with Washington’s “pivot” to Asia—its aggressive geo-strategic and military encirclement of some foreign powers.
The UN report, delayed from March to give the new government time to address concerns, found “patterns of grave violations” between 2002 and 2011.
Read also: U.N. calls for war crimes court in Sri Lanka – CNN.
It said Sri Lanka should set up a “hybrid special court integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators” to try war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by both sides.
As per available reports, Sri Lanka promised to deliver justice for the crimes committed during the nation’s civil war.
The foreign ministry stopped short, however, of directly addressing the UN’s proposal to set up the court to prosecute those from the government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels suspected of atrocities.
Source: Agencies. Pic. Courtesy: AP | AFP.