Yesterday, the United Nations advisory panel on accountability in Sri Lanka turned over its report to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The panel had been established by Ban last June to advise him on how to pursue accountability for reported war crimes and other human rights abuses committed by both the government forces and the opposition Tamil Tigers during Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war (which ended with a government victory in May 2009).
While the Secretary-General’s spokesperson said yesterday that the U.N. intends to make the report public, he didn’t give a timeframe for doing so. It’s critical that the report be made public as a first step towards achieving accountability.
Amnesty International has been asking the U.N. to establish an international war crimes investigation in Sri Lanka. This past February, I accompanied Yolanda Foster, the Amnesty researcher on Sri Lanka, and Dr. Kasipillai Manoharan, the father of one of the “Trinco 5” students killed by the security forces in 2006, as we delivered to the U.N. offices in New York over 52,000 signatures on a petition to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for such an international investigation. Above is the trailer of a short film of our trip, which Amnesty has just released.
Please write to Ban Ki-moon and ask him to make the U.N. advisory panel’s report public. It’s important that the U.N. hears from everyone concerned about truth and justice for the victims and their families in Sri Lanka.