UN to issue Sri Lanka war crimes report demanding justice

UN to issue Sri Lanka war crimes report demanding justice

The much-awaited report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) will be made public on Wednesday.

The report, concerning alleged war crimes, is a result of a resolution adopted in March 2014, calling upon the Commissioner to “undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).”

The LLRC dealt with the period between February 21, 2002 and May 19, 2009, signifying two events — the commencement of a ceasefire agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the end of the Eelam War.

Announcing this during the inauguration of the 30th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) in Geneva on Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said that along with the report, he would make his recommendations.

According to a press release issued by the UN, a press conference would be held in Geneva on Wednesday at 10. 30 am (local time).

The UNHCR Commissioner, in his remarks, pointed out that the report’s findings were “of the most serious nature.” While welcoming the “vision” shown by President Maithripala Sirisena since his election in January 2015 and the commitments made by the new government under his leadership, Mr Al Hussein said “this Council owes it to Sri Lankans — and to its own credibility — to ensure an accountability process that produces results, decisively moves beyond the failures of the past, and brings the deep institutional changes needed to guarantee non-recurrence.”

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera is scheduled to make his statement shortly.

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