For Immediate Release

November 15th, 2012 

Scathing Internal Report of the UN describes Events in Sri Lanka as a “Grave Failure”

Ottawa, ON – Three and a half years after the world witnessed the brutal end to Sri Lanka’s 28 year long civil war, peace has evaded the island.  Serious allegations of war crimes, and crimes against humanity are leveled against the parties to the conflict.

The Report of the Secretary General’s Internal Review Panel on UN Action in Sri Lanka, released yesterday, concludes that the events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN to adequately respond to early warnings and to the unfolding situation during the final stages of the conflict and its aftermath, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and the displacement and subsequent internment of over three hundred thousand people.

The Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) welcomes this highly critical internal review undertaken by Charles Petrie, stemming from the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts report released on April 12th, 2011. The last phase of the war claimed at least 40,000 lives and resulted in the disappearance of tens of thousands of civilians – one of the worst atrocities the world has seen.

“The Report, confirms the systemic, and collective failure of the United Nations and its constituent bodies in preventing the loss of human life”, said Gary Anandsangaree, legal counsel to CTC at a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada.  “It poses disturbing questions on the role of the United Nations in aiding the Sri Lankan government’s slaughter of the Tamil population caught in the war zone”, added Anandasangaree.

This internal report could play an invaluable role in providing an impartial assessment of the UN’s existing failures and opportunities for improvements. The UN’s policies in Sri Lanka were seriously flawed, matching its actions in Rwanda, and only through public dialogue and stronger accountability can the international community and Tamil victims regain trust in the United Nations.

The actions of the United Nations and the international community as a whole has left much of the world with haunting questions – it casts real doubt on whether victims of Sri Lanka will ever see real justice. In light of the mounting evidence against Sri Lanka including the UN Panel of Experts Report, the Channel 4 Video, Still Counting the Dead – a book by former BBC Correspondent, Frances Harrison and this very report, CTC calls upon the United Nations and its member states to convene an International Independent Investigation into allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

CONTACT: For media inquiries, please contact David Poopalapillai at the Canadian Tamil Congress at 416.240.0078.
Published on: 11/15/12 16:03

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