1 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/26/2011
SRI LANKA - UN
UN publishes report on war crimes. Colombo protests
Over 40 thousand civilians killed in bombings and military prisoners executed with a shot to the head, women raped. The document ordered by Ban Ki-moon paints a hellish picture of the final stages of the ethnic conflict. Despite pressure from the Government of Sri Lanka to prevent publication.

Colombo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United Nations today released the report which accuses the government of Sri Lanka of the murder of thousands of civilians, during the final stages of the conflict in 2009. Sri Lanka and the allied countries have exerted great pressure in vain to prevent the spread of the document. In particular, it cites an Air Force bombing of vast proportions, which would have killed more than 40 thousand people. Since its announcement, the Sri Lankan government has rejected the controversial report, commissioned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and attempted to block publishing "to avoid damage to the reconciliation efforts underway in the country," as reported in an official statement.

The UN report paints a hellish picture of life in Vanni, the largest area in the northern province (including the districts of Mannar, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and part of Kilinochchi) the so-called "no-fire zone" where 330 thousand civilian prisoners were trapped: prisoners gunned down, women raped, the tortured bodies of children. The report also accuses the Tamil Tiger rebels (LTTE) of using civilians as human shields during the military airstrikes. According to UN experts, those contained in the document are "credible allegations, if proved, that both the Government of Sri Lanka and the members of the LTTE committed a large number of serious violations of human and international rights. Some of them would qualify as war crimes and crimes against humanity. "

Ban Ki-moon said that the purpose of the report is to urge the government to admit an official and formal recognition of its responsibility for civilian casualties in the final stages of the conflict in 2009. He added that he has no authority to launch an international inquiry into possible war crimes, without the authorization of the Sri Lankan Government, or the formal request of members of the United Nations.

The document was prepared after collecting the evidence for 10 months. Its publication has been postponed several times because of pressure from the Government of Sri Lanka, that wanted – it claimed - to avoid causing "irreparable damage" to the process of reconciliation in the country. The spokesman for Ban Ki-moon has defended the decision to publish the report as "a question of transparency in the wider public interest." The Sri Lankan government had received a full copy of the document already on 12 April, together with the repeated proposal - also rejected by Colombo - to publish an official replica of the government together with the UN document.

The first to denounce the government of Sri Lanka to have committed war crimes were the Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), a group of Sri Lankan journalists in exile, Sinhalese and Tamil. Through their website (http://www.jdslanka.org/ ), the JDs have posted a series of short films. The videos show executions perpetrated by the military, as well as acts of violence of various kinds.

For the complete text of the UN click here


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/28/2011 SRI LANKA
Christians welcome UN criticism and need to learn from the atrocities of war
by Melani Manel Perera
09/16/2009 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
UN: Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes in Gaza
by Joshua Lapide
02/13/2009 CAMBODIA
Cambodia puts Khmer Rouge on trial. First defendant is "Comrade Duch"
03/22/2012 SRI LANKA
UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka war crimes approved
by Melani Manel Perera
08/02/2011 SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka issues own report rejecting UN allegations of war crimes
by Melani Manel Perera

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.