Release of UN War Crimes Report Could Pressure Sri Lanka
Submitted by Anonymous on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 23:38
(VOA, April 13, 2011) - Alan Keenan is a senior analyst on Sri Lanka with the International Crisis Group. He says he hopes the U.N. experts will ratchet up international pressure to get answers.
"We hope that they will concur with us that the current Sri Lankan government initiative is not adequate, and that therefore some kind of an international commission of inquiry is required," said Keenan.
Keenan says it is very unlikely the United Nations Security Council or Human Rights Council would form an investigative body. That is partly because powerful veto-holding members Russia and China are sympathetic to the Sri Lankan position that the civil war investigation is an internal matter.
"We think the easiest and most likely [option] is for the Secretary-General himself to appoint some kind of investigative body, and that could have enough investigative powers to produce a further, more detailed study than this panel of experts has been able to do," Kennan said.
Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch, says she hopes the U.N. report will legitimize her group's accusations, which Sri Lanka has dismissed in the past as part of a conspiracy.
"What we are hoping is that it will put a final end to this round of allegations hurled at human rights groups that everything is conjured up," said Ganguly.
Ganguly says failure to approach the issue of civil war atrocities transparently will cost Sri Lanka's government its legitimacy in the long run.
"If Sri Lanka now becomes the proponent for a government that carpet bombs civilians to win a war, that is not the message that is going to be acceptable to most that believe in human rights," said Ganguly. "And Sri Lanka, in a way, is destroying its own credibility by doing this kind of thing, so eventually it will hurt them."
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