2 September, 2014 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
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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.