UN rights chief warns of action in absence of S.Lanka probe

30th June 2011, Comments 3 comments

The UN's human rights chief Thursday warned Sri Lanka not to take too long in probing war crimes allegations, saying failure to carry out a credible inquiry could lead to international action.

"There is now a high level of expectations expressed by member states that Sri Lanka should seriously inquire into these allegations" of prisoner executions and assaults, said Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"But this should not be an open-ended process," she stressed, noting that a previous Sri Lankan internal inquiry "failed to complete its task, never published its report and never led to a single prosecution."

"If that should be the case again, there is an intention for the international community to take further action. I certainly believe that the Human Rights Council should actively consider this matter," said Pillay.

Pressure has mounted on Colombo since Britain's Channel 4 broadcast a documentary that showed what it said were prisoner executions and bodies of female Tamil fighters who appeared to have been sexually assaulted.

A recent UN report accused government forces of war crimes, alleging that they executed rebel leaders who had surrendered.

An estimated 100,000 people were killed in the nearly four-decade-long Tamil separatist conflict, which began in 1972.

Pillay's remarks echoed that of the United States, which on Tuesday urged Sri Lanka to move quickly to address allegations of war crimes.

Colombo has questioned the authenticity of the Channel 4 footage but said that a local panel, known as the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, would take action if the allegations are proven.


© 2011 AFP

3 Comments To This Article

  • EBENMAN posted:

    on 5th July 2011, 06:05:38 - Reply

    UNITED NATIONS OR INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL NOT TAKE ANY ACTION AGAINST SRI LANKA AS CHINA IS PROTECTING SRI LANKA. HOW CAN BEGGERS OF WESTERN WORLD WHO OWES SO MANY BILLIONS TO CHINA CAN TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE COUNTRY TO WHICH THEY (COUNTRIES LIKE, USA, CANADA, ENGLAND ETC.). ARE INDEBTED FOR... HOW CAN SLAVES TELL THE MASTER WHAT TO DO....? THE FELLOWS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF OVER 40K TAMILS DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANYTHING ANY MORE. SO... I FEEL SORRY FOR NAVANEETHAM PILLAI WHO WANTS JUSTICE..... CAN SHE DO ANTHING ?? WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE... AS SOME COUNTRIES WHO MIGHT REALISE THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE ISSUE AND TAKE A DECISION TO FORCE THE UN TO TAKE ACTION AGAINS SRI-LANKAN GOVERNMENT.
  • Shan posted:

    on 1st July 2011, 09:52:12 - Reply

    How much power does she have?
  • Sandra posted:

    on 30th June 2011, 19:49:41 - Reply

    The speedy arrest warrant issued to the Libyan leader Gadhafi and the intolerable silence for the Sri Lankan leaders who carried out an unwitnessed war which claimed 40,000 lives (at the hands of a mono-ethnic military) in few days, is certainly a double-dealing approach of the consumer-sedated international community.

    Sri Lanka has a long history of violent past to the minorities and according to Govt. statistics, there are still 146,000 unaccounted for since war ended two years ago.
    The Sri Lankan govt seems busy organizing protests against nations voicing human rights and allying with the worlds worst human abusers are clear signs of the direction of this majoritarian regime.