Panel’s report ‘cannot erase the stain on the UN’

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 April 2011, 15:10 GMT]
The damning UN report on Sri Lanka’s mass killings of Tamil civilians in 2009 submitted last week to Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon by a panel he appointed last year, “cannot erase the stain on the UN over its silence” during the bloodletting, The Times newspaper’s writer who first comprehensively reported on the violence said in a comment Friday. Catherine Philp recalling UN officials saying how the Ban’s chief of staff, Vijay Nambiar, had ordered UN staff in Colombo to cover up the mass casualties being inflicted on Tamil civilians by Sri Lankan forces in 2009, so as not to “rock the boat” by criticising the Sri Lankan Government during its onslaught.

Satish Nambiar, paid military consultant to Colombo
Satish Nambiar, paid military consultant to Colombo
Vijay Nambiar, Chief of Staff of Ban Ki Moon
Vijay Nambiar, Chief of Staff of Ban Ki Moon
Mr Nambiar's brother, Satish, was later revealed to be working as a paid consultant to the Sri Lankan military, Ms. Philp pointed out.

The full text of Philp's article follows:

This cannot erase the stain on the UN over its silence

Sri Lanka will come under renewed pressure to submit to an international war crimes investigation with the publication today of a highly critical UN report into the bloody end of its civil war.

The report is expected to back evidence, first published by The Times, that shelling by government forces was responsible for most of the civilian deaths. At least 20,000 civilians died in the final five months of the military campaign to crush the Tamil Tigers.

Human rights groups have documented atrocities on both sides of the conflict, which ended in May 2009, including the use of human shields and child soldiers by the rebels. But the deliberate shelling and denial of humanitarian relief to civilians inside a government-established no-fire zone are held to blame for the bulk of the casualties.

Sri Lanka has refused to allow any independent investigation into the conflict, which took place in the remote northeast, where outside observers and journalists were banned. It has also failed to investigate or hold anyone accountable for the deaths, prompting calls for an outside inquiry.

Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General established a panel of experts last year to assess possible war crimes after mounting pressure from human rights groups and Western governments who accused the UN of trying to whitewash war crimes allegations.

UN officials told The Times that Mr Ban’s chief of staff, Vijay Nambiar, had been told that the final death toll would likely exceed 20,000 but urged his staff not to “rock the boat” by criticising the Sri Lankan Government. Mr Nambiar’s brother, Satish, was later revealed to be working as a paid consultant to the Sri Lankan military.

The UN panel, led by Marzuki Darusman, the former Indonesian Attorney-General, was refused entry to carry out its investigation. Instead, it collected photographs, video footage and sworn testimony detailing specific claims against named military personnel.

The Sri Lankan Government, which received the report after it was submitted to the UN Secretary-General on Tuesday, rejected it as “fundamentally flawed”. The Foreign Ministry said: “Among other deficiencies the report is based on patently biased material which is presented without any verification.” Western diplomats said that the report would call for further UN-led action, setting up a diplomatic showdown between Colombo and nations such as Britain and the US, which passed a resolution last month calling for an international war crimes inquiry.

Mr Ban may choose to order an investigation by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights or an ad-hoc UN body. Diplomats said Sri Lanka was unlikely to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) because of opposition from allies such as China.

The timing of the report is sensitive, coming while Nato is engaged in airstrikes in Libya. Before the Libya resolution, the Security Council agreed to refer the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, to the ICC for alleged war crimes.

Sarath Fonseka, the general who led the campaign against the Tigers, is in jail on corruption charges. He claimed that the President’s brother and Defence Secretary ordered the execution of key rebels who tried to surrender.


Chronology:


Related Articles:
11.04.11   UN served a ploy to surrender killings
24.02.11   Ban and Nambiar confer with generals and officials of Sri La..
21.12.10   Nambiar, UN, undermine war crimes investigation on Sri Lanka..
26.03.10   Nambiar, Kohona assembling Ban's expert panel on war-crimes
23.12.09   UN Official's involvement in LTTE leaders' killing questione..
20.08.09   'UN, the fence that ate the crop'
30.05.09   UN Officials complicit in aiding, abetting GoSL's Nazi-type ..
29.05.09   UN concealed carnage to keep Sri Lanka goodwill – Le Monde

 

Latest 15 Reports
19.04.18 21:15   Photo
JUSU urges Tamils to mark Mu'l'livaaykkaal Remembrance in its true spirit of uprising
18.04.18 23:03  
Cooray emerges as broker of civil contracts to occupying Sinhala military in North
17.04.18 23:31  
SL Resettlement Ministry twists figures on lands seized by Sinhala military in North
16.04.18 20:02  
Mano Ganesan challenged in Jaffna, politician complains of threat
15.04.18 10:13  
7 DS officials under pressure to collaborate with Sinhala colonisation schemes in Batticaloa
14.04.18 23:19  
Colombo schemes new type of subservient CSD colonies in Jaffna diverting foreign aid
13.04.18 23:18   Photo
SL military brings back paramilitary violence to control peaceful protests as NGO tricks fail
12.04.18 19:03  
SL Forest department blocks access to 300 acres of agricultural lands in Ampaa'rai
11.04.18 23:20  
Tamil political prisoner launches hunger-strike at Anuradhapura prison
10.04.18 18:19  
Genocidal Sri Lanka imposes forcible military training for CSD pre-school teachers
09.04.18 11:40   Photo
Fisheries society cautiously welcomes Court decision on fishing access to Naayaa'ru Tamils
08.04.18 23:28  
Militarisation of pre-schools akin to child soldiering: NPC Education Minister
07.04.18 21:34  
Muslim politicians block relocation of SL military base in Batticaloa
06.04.18 06:35   Photo
NPC finally awakens against SL Mahaweli Authority obstructing territorial integrity of Tamil homeland
05.04.18 16:46  
Vavuniyaa Judge warns SL Attorney General against delaying tactics on TPP cases
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=33812