UN document leaked to undermine Septemberís rights report: Channel 4
July 29, 2015 11:43 am
Channel 4 News has reported that a leaked UN document raises concerns over the prospects for genuine justice for the Sri Lankan victims of alleged war crimes.
Channel 4 News said that it has been supplied with the leaked document which critics claim could pre-empt and undermine September’s Human Rights Council discussion on a UN’s long-awaited investigation into crimes committed at the end of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war.
The UN says most of civilians died in shelling as they were crammed into ever-diminishing “No Fire Zones“ - though the Tamil Tigers are also alleged to have committed grave abuses including suicide bombings and the use of human shields.
The document appears to be have been created by the UN in conjunction with the Sri Lankan government, and outlines plans to set up a purely domestic inquiry into human rights violations - with technical support from the UN.
Most human rights groups regard plans for an internal judicial process as unacceptable and many warn it would inevitably be seen as a “victor’s court”.
The leaked UN plan claims that the “implementing partners” for the scheme would include, along with the Sri Lankan government, the Tamil-dominated Northern Provincial Council, widely seen as representing the popular voice of the Tamils.
But that council’s chief minister, former Sri Lankan Supreme Court Judge CV Wigneswaran, toldChannel 4 News that the UN had not even consulted them on the plan.
He added that despite the fact that under the scheme the council stood to receive half a million dollars in funding, he was minded to reject it.
What is surprising is that this document has emerged ahead of the September Human Rights Council discussion. The September meeting is about the international investigation - announced by the Human Rights Council in March 2014 at the behest of world leaders including David Cameron - into alleged war crimes and human rights abuses.
Six months earlier David Cameron had visited the Tamil-dominated north of Sri Lanka, alongside Channel 4 News Presenter Jon Snow, where he was inundated by requests from the families of Sri Lankans who have been missing since the end of the civil war in 2009. (Channel 4 News)