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Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Wednesday, 19 September 2018 | Sri Lanka Watch
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UN repeats War Crimes Charges SL Rejects them PDF Print E-mail
UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told press on Thursday, that UN again is considering whether to call for an expert group to assist Sri Lanka to address allegations of human rights abuses during the final offensive against the LTTE.

Nesirky said  "The secretary-general has informed the government of Sri Lanka that he is considering the appointment of a commission of experts to advise him further and to assist the government in taking measures to address possible violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,"
Nesirky said. "The establishment of such a commission is receiving detailed consideration in the secretariat."

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has already appointed a team of experts to study the accusations and has assured UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon that his government would investigate allegations of human rights violations, undertake a comprehensive accountability process, and take measures to address grievances of the victims of the conflict.

Paralell to the developments in New York, the UN human rights investigator Philip Alston released a report verifying the authenticity of a video, which showed the extra-judicial killings of two Tamil men.

Three experts from the United States commissioned by Mr. Alston to examine the video “strongly suggest that the video is authentic,” according to a note prepared by the Special Rapporteur.

Alston said “The conclusion clearly is that the video is authentic,I have therefore called on the Government of Sri Lanka to respond to these allegations.”
Alston has called on the Sri Lankan government to facilitate an independent and impartial investigation, preferably with help from the United Nations.
“Given these conclusions, and in light of the persistent flow of other allegations of extrajudicial executions by both sides during the closing phases of the war against the LTTE, I call for the establishment of an independent inquiry to carry out an impartial investigation into war crimes and other grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law allegedly committed in Sri Lanka,” stated Mr. Alston.

He added that there are a small number of characteristics of the video which the experts were unable to explain, including the movement of certain victims in the video, 17 frames at the end of the video, and the date of 17 July 2009 encoded in the video (the conflict was officially declared over in May 2009).  
“Each of these characteristics can, however, be explained in a manner entirely consistent with the conclusion that the videotape appears to be authentic,” noted a news release also issued today.
“In sum, while there are some unexplained elements in the video, there are strong indications of its authenticity. In addition, most of the arguments relied upon by the Government of Sri Lanka to impugn the video have been shown to be flawed.”

Sri Lanka has strongly opposed a move by the UN to reveal the findings of an analysis of the authenticity of the "Channel 4 videotape" containing footage from northern Sri Lanka during a special briefing at the UN on January 7.

Foreign Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe has, in a communique to Professor Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, requested him not to make a public statement without giving the Sri Lankan government adequate time to study what Alston called a technical note containing opinions expressed by three foreign experts retained by the UN.

Many people in Sri Lanka believe that the war crimes charges against Sri Lanka which had died down for a while was aroused again in to full swing again, since the presidential candidate and former army commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka made a controversial statement as to how the LTTE s Pullidevan and Nadesen died in the battle field.

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