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'Ban-Ki-moon must stick to his word' - Amnesty Int'l

'Ban-Ki-moon must stick to his word - accounting for violations committed in the recent conflict is first step to future reconciliation' - Amnesty Int'l

Amnesty International Media Release

United Nations Report on Sri Lanka Conflict Must be Made Public, Says Amnesty International

(Washington, D.C.) -- A United Nations (U.N.) report on accountability for war crimes committed in the Sri Lankan armed conflict must be made public, Amnesty International said today as a panel of experts submits their findings to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

"Sri Lankans must be allowed to see the panel's findings. The report concerns a critical period in their recent history and they deserve to read it in full," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director. "Ban Ki-moon said that 'accountability is an essential foundation for durable peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.' He must stick to his word - accounting for violations committed in the recent conflict is the first step to future reconciliation."

The U.N. Panel of Experts was appointed in June 2010 to advise the Secretary General on accountability issues relating to violations of international human rights and humanitarian law alleged in the final stages of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka, which ended in May 2009.

Sri Lanka - Tell the Truth

The panel was also asked to recommend a course of action that would ensure accountability, in line with a joint commitment made by President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka and Ban Ki-moon on his visit to Sri Lanka in May 2009.

Amnesty International has called on the United Nations to launch an independent international investigation into alleged crimes, which include the killing of more than 10,000 civilians; the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s use of civilians as human shields and conscription of child soldiers; Sri Lankan army shelling of areas densely populated by civilians; and severe deprivation of food, water and medical care for people trapped by fighting.

The Sri Lankan government protested appointment of the U.N. panel as "uncalled for and unwarranted" and refused to fully cooperate.

"The panel’s work on accountability issues in Sri Lanka should mark the beginning, not the end, of a process of accounting for violations," said Zarifi.

For decades, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) systematically targeted civilians, launched suicide attacks at buses and railway stations, assassinated politicians and critics and recruited child soldiers.

Sri Lankan government forces and their armed affiliates also acted with impunity, engaging in extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torturing those suspected of links to the LTTE.

"Impunity for violations has been the rule throughout Sri Lanka’s long civil war. The way to turn a new page in the country’s history and restore public confidence is to deliver truth and justice," said Zarifi. "By publicizing the panel of expert’s report, and moving toward an independent, international accountability mechanism, the UN would send a strong message that international law is relevant, and would reinforce trends of accountability for human rights violations globally."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

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This report says; "For decades, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) systematically targeted civilians, launched suicide attacks at buses and railway stations, assassinated politicians and critics and recruited child soldiers."

I say, that is a gross understatement by AI. LTTE atrocities were far far worse than that. LTTE blew up an Indian Prime Minister, a Sri Lankan President, a presidential aspirant, many ministers and almost all traditional Tamil Leaders. LTTE almost killed another President as well. It massacred entire villages. It blasted sacred temples and hundreds of meditating monks, and monks with begging bowls. It had killed much much more than 10,000 people long before AI alleged killings of civilians by security forces.

Funny thing is, AI never requested UNSG to appoint a commission to investigate any of those killings by LTTE before May 18th 2009, while LTTE was a force to reckon. Why? AI and its backers wanted LTTE to remain intact and continue to be their stooge.

What's the point LTTE being investigated now for LTTE and its leaders are no more? Its a joke that AI wanted to investigate LTTE atrocities now. We are no babies or gullible; we know that AI only wanted to investigate and punish the liquidators of their protege LTTE.

AI and their buddies should know one thing. Sinhalese are well known to be a grateful race. They will never turn their back on those that helped them to usher peace. They will never back AI or UN to punish those that killed the killers.

The more AI and their sinner buddies I(NGO)s try to persecute our heroes the more they will back their heroes. They should see that from results of all the recent elections.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2011 03:04 AM

People who provided funds , supplied arm and ammunition and conducted political propaganda to cover the crimes over 30 years are still being feted by the English speaking Western Govts.

It is ludicrous to investigate the LTTE in SL ,for first they are history and secondly they were meted due justice.

People in Srilanka are quite happy to read the "Bun Ki Report." But that ain't going to generate any favor for war crime investigations because Srilanka didn't commit any.

The great majority are in unison believing that the presnt Govt saved them from the Terrorists and nothing is going to change that conviction.

This great majority will take you seriously only when you show genuine feeling towards their wefare , well being, freedom and prosperity that they enjoy now.

You need only to look at the results of the last three elections to gauge the public mood with regards to your campaigns to undermine this Govt.

Posted by: Kalu Albert | April 13, 2011 08:46 PM

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