Friday, April 22, 2011

U.N.: Sri Lanka’s crushing of Tamil Tigers may have killed 40,000 civilians

By Colum Lynch, The Washington Post, Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eranga Jayawardena/ AP – Sri Lankans walk past a billboard on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a campaign slogans for people to join the protest against the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s expert panel proposals on the country’s civil war, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, April 21, 2011.

UNITED NATIONS — Sri Lanka’s decisive 2008-09 military offensive against the country’s separatist Tamil Tigers may have resulted in the deaths of as many as 40,000 civilians, most of them victims of indiscriminate shelling by Sri Lankan forces, according to a U.N. panel established by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The panel recommended that Ban set up an “independent international mechanism” to carry out a more thorough probe into “credible” allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which held more than 300,000 civilians “hostage” to enforce a “strategic human buffer between themselves and the advancing Sri Lankan army.”

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