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article imageUN panel of experts publish 'Accountability in Sri Lanka' report Special

By Andrew Moran     Apr 27, 2011 in World
Colombo - The United Nations has published a report from the Secretary General's panel of experts regarding the accountability measures in Sri Lanka. Despite the report, the international community is criticizing Ban Ki-moon for not initiating a war crimes probe.
Last year, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed a panel of experts to establish a report that would analyze information from sources in regards to the final days of the war in Sri Lanka between security forces and Tamil Tigers.
The panel included Marzuki Darusman of Indonesia, Steven Ratner from the United States and Yasmin Sooka of South Africa.
The UN has now released its findings and has been harshly criticized by both the Tamil community and the Sri Lankan government. Plus, the Secretary General has come under attack for failing to establish a war crimes investigation, but a former UN official said Moon is powerless against China and Russia.
To view the UN’s full results, click here.
Sri Lankan Government Responds
In an opinion piece, an “average citizen” wrote on Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence website an in-depth response that labelled the report as a “fatal blow to the UN’s credibility.”
Sanjaya Somasiri said in the response that the UN and Secretary General were of equal importance. In all educational institutions, students attempted to memorize all of the names of former Secretary Generals of the UN “with great respect. But, the name Ban Ki-moon is quite an exception.”
“Now, he says he has a report with some loony allegations against our country. Why do you hate us so much? - is the question that runs in my mind and in many others’ here as well,” wrote Somasiri. “The question prompts us to contemplate over the recent role of Mr. Moon and the organization he heads have been playing in the current international scene.”
According to Reuters, on Wednesday, the Indian Ocean nation’s External Affairs Ministry released a statement that called the report “divisive” at this point in time and disrupts the government’s “efforts to reinforce peace, security and stability in Sri Lanka.”
“It feeds into the political agendas of interested parties,” the statement said.
Tamil Community Responds
This report comes as the Tamils mark May as the month of remembrance for the “Tamil Genocide.” The National Council of Canadian Tamils and Tamils around the world are accusing the Sri Lankan government of severe human rights violations and the “massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
IAEA Imagebank
“The last months of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces’ assault on Tamil civilians are perhaps one of the worst massacres in recent memory,” said the Coalition to Stop the War in Sri Lanka spokesperson, Senthan Nadarajah.
“Why aren't all of our medias covering this? Please ask our government officials to respond. Why the delay? US, UK and EU is on board to support independent investigation. We jumped at the opportunity to save Libyan people from Libyan Government why not the Tamils from Sri Lankan Government?”
Furthermore, in an e-mail to Digital Journal, the National Council of Canadian Tamils (NCCT) said the international Tamil community and non-governmental organizations will commit to the “preservation of human rights and accountability.”
“National Country Councils as well as Tamils worldwide have marked the month of May as Tamil Genocide Remembrance Month to commemorate the tens of thousands of Tamil civilians killed in the 2009 conclusion of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka,” stated the NCCT.
The grassroots organization concluded that they are seeking worldwide participation in these events “as well as encourage the broader international community to be informed and proactive to the human rights situation in the island of Sri Lanka.”
Should Ban Ki-moon be blamed?
The Sri Lankan government has criticized the UN Secretary General for getting involved in the internal affairs the country. But the non-governmental organizations and Tamils are urging for a war crimes public inquiry.
Channel 4 News will reveal the “the most horrific” footage from the dying days of the war in Sri Lanka. The day before this broadcast, the UN Secretary General announced that he will consider investigating the “credible allegations” of war crimes committed by Sri Lankan forces, according to the Sri Lankan Guardian.
Despite this, former UN Deputy Secretary General in 2006, Mark Malloch Brown, said Moon is in a tough situation as he is powerless to defy China and Russia because of a “new cold war of ideas,” reports Channel 4 News.
“It's hard for a Secretary-General to prevail when he is in the middle of a field with elephants trampling around,” said Brown. “It is too much of an apparent war crime to go uninvestigated. But if he doesn't have the support of the international community and if the Sri Lankans continue to not just stonewall but to actively campaign against him in the UN it would be in practical terms almost impossible to complete any inquiry.”
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