Posts Tagged ‘LTTE’

Sri Lanka: Alle Kriegsparteien begingen Kriegsverbrechen

Donnerstag, April 28th, 2011

SRI LANKA: UN report finds both sides liable

“The government of Sri Lanka has criticized the UN for releasing a report alleging war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both sides during the country’s decades-long civil war.

“The UN Panel report is completely baseless and lacks credibility,” Keheliya Rambukwella, the Minister of Mass Media and Information and government spokesman, told IRIN on 26 April in Colombo, rejecting all allegations of war crimes against the government.

“We do not see the release of this report as constructive… This will have a destructive effect in the context of Sri Lanka’s progress,” added Rajiva Wijesinha, a ruling party parliamentarian and Sri Lanka’s former secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights.

The 196-page panel report, published on 25 April, concluded that both government forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) conducted military operations with flagrant disregard for the protection, rights, welfare and lives of civilians and international law during the final months of the war.

Tens of thousands lost their lives from January to May 2009, many of whom died anonymously in the carnage of the final days, the report said.

The three-person panel of experts set up to advise UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over issues of accountability after the war found credible allegations comprising five core categories of potential serious violations committed by the government, including the killing of civilians by widespread shelling and the denial of humanitarian assistance.

Between September 2008 and 19 May 2009, the Sri Lankan Army advanced its military campaign into the island’s north, using large-scale and widespread shelling, which resulted in large numbers of civilian deaths, the report said.

At the same time, the report cited the LTTE with six core categories of potential serious violations, including using civilians as human buffers, as well as killing civilians who attempted to flee LTTE control.

It also implemented a policy of forced recruitment throughout the war, and in the final stages intensified that to include children as young as 14, the report added.

The panel, which began work in September 2010, determined an allegation was credible if there was a reasonable basis to believe the underlying act or event occurred.

A way forward?

But despite the government’s harsh response to the report’s release, coupled with the UN panel’s call for a credible investigation, some rights activists see it as an important opportunity in the country’s future peace and reconciliation.

“The release of the UN panel report is an important step,” said Sunila Abeysekara, one of the country’s leading human rights defenders, noting it was imperative that the report be made available to all Sri Lankans.

Others, however, remain more cautious, noting that this island nation of 20 million needed its own space to negotiate and foster its own approach to peace.

“I am concerned that changes sought to be imposed from the outside will not be sustainable if the population is not a part of this process of change,” Jehan Perera, director of the National Peace Council, a think-tank in Colombo.

“The most sustainable path forward in the country will have to be constructed within the country and in a manner that will ensure that people make their own investment in the processes of democratization and justice. Without internal acceptance, no popular change in Sri Lanka will be sustainable,” he said.

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]”


(Quelle: IRIN Asia.)

Sri Lanka: Kriegsverbrechen warten auf Aufklärung

Montag, Mai 17th, 2010

“War Crimes in Sri Lanka

Newly revealed evidence of war crimes in Sri Lanka last year makes an international inquiry essential.

War Crimes in Sri Lanka, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, exposes repeated violations of international law by both the Sri Lankan security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the last five months of their 30-year civil war. That evidence suggests that the period of January to May 2009 saw tens of thousands of Tamil civilian men, women, children and the elderly killed, countless more wounded, and hundreds of thousands deprived of adequate food and medical care, resulting in more deaths.

Released on the eve of the first anniversary of the end of the fighting, the report calls for an international inquiry into alleged crimes. The government has conclusively demonstrated its unwillingness to undertake genuine investigations of security force abuses and continues to deny any responsibility for civilian casualties. A true accounting is needed to address the grievances that drive conflict in Sri Lanka, so the international community must take the lead.

‘The scale of civilian deaths and suffering demands a response’, says Crisis Group President Louise Arbour. ‘Future generations will demand to know what happened, and future peace in Sri Lanka requires some measure of justice.’

Both sides in Sri Lanka’s civil war violated international humanitarian law throughout the decades-long conflict. However the violations became particularly frequent and deadly in the months leading to the government’s declaration of victory over the LTTE in May 2009. Evidence gathered by Crisis Group provides reasonable grounds to believe that government security forces repeatedly and intentionally violated the law by attacking civilians, hospitals and humanitarian operations. The government declined to respond to Crisis Group’s request for comment on these allegations. Evidence also shows that the LTTE violated the law by killing, wounding or otherwise endangering civilians, including by shooting them and preventing them from leaving the conflict zone even when injured and dying.

Much of the international community turned a blind eye to the violations when they were happening. Many countries welcomed the LTTE’s defeat regardless of the cost of immense civilian suffering and an acute challenge to the laws of war. The United Nations too readily complied with the government’s demands to withdraw from conflict areas.

The international community has a responsibility to uphold the rule of law, the reputation of international agencies and respect for international humanitarian law, most importantly the protection of civilians lives. Today, a number of other countries are considering ‘the Sri Lankan option’ – unrestrained military action, refusal to negotiate, disregard for humanitarian issues, keeping out international observers including the press and humanitarian workers – as a way to deal with insurgencies and other violent groups.

‘An international inquiry is necessary not only for justice and long-term peace in Sri Lanka but also to help prevent a repeat elsewhere’, says Robert Templer, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director. ‘It would serve as a warning to other governments that may be considering ‘the Sri Lankan model’ to address their own internal conflicts.’”

(Quelle: International Crisis Group .)