The New York-based Columbia University’s Programme for Peace Building and Rights tied up with former Lankan minister Milinda Moragoda’s Pathfinder Foundation.

The Government of Japan helped them organise an “Observation of Progress of National Reconciliation and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka.” David L. Phillips of the Columbia University was part of a fact-finding delegation which included officials from Bangladesh, Brazil, Italy, Japan, Romania and South Africa.

Tuseno Nishida, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, prepared a chairman’s report based on discussions by the delegation with the Government of Sri Lanka, the UN country team, Colombo-based diplomats, Sri Lankan civil society and members of Parliament. Their report was handed over to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Now, Mr. Phillips has declared in a public statement, coming as it does during the UN Human Rights Council sessions, that “an independent international investigation of alleged war crimes under the auspices of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is necessary to address allegations.”