UN under pressure to re-examine Sri Lankan war human rights violations

Geneva,Sept 13(ANI): The United Nations Human Rights Council is facing growing pressure to re-examine alleged violations of human rights which allegedly took place during the conflict between the Sri Lankan Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE).

A report, which is compiled by human rights experts and commissioned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon alleges that both sides committed human rights violations during the final stages of the war, the BBC reports.

The reports levels allegations like summary executions, the shelling of hospitals and the use of civilians as human shields on both sides, which if proved true, according to the report, would constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Though the Sri Lankan issue is not formally on this Human Rights Council session agenda, it would be compelled to take action if Ban Ki Moon’s report is pushed through in the meeting.

A preceding UN council session on the issue had greeted the Sri Lankan Government on bringing the civil war to an end but failed to condemn human rights violations.

Sri Lanka has reacted strongly to the human rights allegations levelled against it.

Though Sri Lanka has set up its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to redress grievances, human rights groups pointed out that the organization is biased towards the government.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) Navi Pillai said Sri Lanka is an example of states “undermining rights to combat terrorism… And fostering a culture of diffidence and discrimination”.

Sri Lankan Plantations Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who is representing the government in Geneva said the UNHCR is “biased… and departing from well-established principles and procedures”.(ANI)