UN to investigate war crimes in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 8:54:41 by
Martti Ahtisaari

The Human Rights Commission of the United Nations will investigate alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the civil war in Sri Lanka after finding that the Government has not adequately investigated. Former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Laureate, Martti Ahtisaari, will lead the investigation, which will last until April 2015. Annual reports of the United Nations since 2011 have stressed the need to clarify the alleged crimes against humanity committed in the last stage of ethnic-religious conflict between the Sri Lanka army with the separatist terrorist group the Tamil Tigers (LTTE). Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, warned of recent military attacks on Hindu Tamil population in the north after her last trip to Sri Lanka in August 2013.

The UN agency calls for the government of Sri Lanka collaboration in the investigations while religious clashes escalate in Indian Island. “The notion of Sri Lanka as a multiethnic and multireligious democracy is being seriously challenged. The government used the victory over the Tamil Tigers in the war to promote a non-inclusive Sinhalese Buddhist identity, “describes Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, director of the think tank Centre for Policy Alternatives. Buddhist monks radical groups have emerged as guardians of national identity. His xenophobic discourse focuses on religious minorities, mainly Muslims (7.6% of the population), who considered a threat to the country. The disturbances caused four deaths and severe damage to shops and homes of Muslims in mid-June at two locations near Colombo. Only in 2013, the Secretariat for Muslims recorded 280 violent assaults to their community; including mosques and private establishments. Dayan Jayatilleka, who served in the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Genoa, blemish to this movement of theocratic fascism.

In 2009, the army of Sri Lanka ended 26 years of conflict that divided the country and caused between 80,000 and 100,000 deaths. The civil war was the emergence of the clashes between the majority Sinhalese and Buddhist religion represented by the regular armed forces, and the minority Hindu Tamils and the north of the country represented by the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Land. ” I was 16 when LTTE forces kidnapped me. In the last months of the war children up to 14 years were forced to fight the army. We shot if we tried to escape, “says Nijanthan 21 years and resident in Mullaitivu town where the last battle took place.

The use of child soldiers and human shields and suicide terrorism by the Tamil Tigers group has been denounced by the government of Sri Lanka, which established programs for the reintegration of war-affected. But the Commission on Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission established by the Government to prevent the resurgence of hostilities never admitted the evidence denounce the bombing of the Tamil civilians in the final months of war. The final report of the government commission insists that ” the armed forces maintained zero collateral damage.”

Activists accuse the government to pursue dissidents. “There are still 1,000 to 2,000 detainees. Many have been detained indefinitely under unwarranted claims based Terrorism Prevention Act,” said Ruki Fernando, a prominent human rights defender on bail after being arrested without charge in March. Nine journalists have been murdered and the Committee to Protect Journalists believes that Sri Lanka is the 4th most insecure country in the world for reporters.

Meanwhile, authorities focus on economic recovery. Tourism has tripled since the end of the conflict, injecting 740 million euros in 2012, according to government sources. China has spent nearly 3,000 million in projects and it is expected that the two countries sign a free trade agreement at the end of the year.

Short URL: https://www.newspakistan.pk/?p=45899

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