Sri Lanka: Ban voices hope Government will take steps on accountability

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

17 December 2011 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced hope that the Sri Lankan Government will move forward on its commitments to deal with accountability concerns in the wake of the long-running civil war in the Asian country.

Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission tabled its report in the national Parliament yesterday, and Mr. Ban welcomed the public release of the report, according to information released by his spokesperson last night.

The spokesperson said Mr. Ban hopes the Government will forward with its accountability commitments in good faith as an essential step towards reconciliation and lasting peace in the island country.

Sri Lankan Government forces declared victory over the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009 after a conflict that had raged on and off for nearly three decades and killed thousands of people. The conflict ended with large numbers of Sri Lankans living as internally displaced persons (IDPs), especially in the country's north.

Earlier this year Mr. Ban forwarded a report by a three-member United Nations panel of experts on accountability issues during the civil war to the Human Rights Council and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The panel found there were credible reports that both Government forces and the LTTE committed war crimes during the war's final months. It recommended that the Government respond to the allegations by initiating an effective accountability process starting with genuine investigations.


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