Monday, April 18, 2011

Sri Lanka forces committed war crimes, says UN

Leaked report talks of ‘credible allegations’ against troops

By Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent, The Independent, Apr 17, 2011

Sri Lankan Tamils captured by government forces and held in a camp for displaced people in the northern district of Vavuniya in 2009. Some were not allowed home for a year afp/getty images: Sri Lankan Tamils captured by government forces and held in a camp for displaced people in the northern district of Vavuniya in 2009. Some were not allowed home for a year 
 
 The authorities in Sri Lanka are under mounting pressure to agree to an independent inquiry into a military operation against Tamil rebels, after a UN panel found “credible allegations” that the government committed war crimes and offences against humanity.

A leaked report by a team established by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, suggests government troops systematically shelled civilians it had encouraged to gather in so-called “no-fire zones”, at hospitals, at the UN’s hub, and even close to an area where aid workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were coming to collect wounded people from the beach. It says the government allowed this even though it knew from its own intelligence the impact of the repeated bombardment.

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