UN must produce a Congo-type war crimes report on Sri Lanka, says Prof. Boyle

[TamilNet, Friday, 19 November 2010, 05:12 GMT]
Reviewing the recently released 550-page United Nations Report of the Mapping Exercise Documenting the Most Serious Violations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Committed Within the Territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an article in the American Society of International Law (ASIL) said, "[t]he report detailing killings, rapes, destruction, and other violent attacks is alarming, not least because similar crimes continue to be committed in the DRC, where impunity still reigns large." Professor Boyle of Illinois College of Law, an expert in international law, commenting on the UN report said, "Tamils worldwide must demand the same “UN Mapping Report” of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the Government of Sri Lanka against the Tamils."

The mapping exercise which began in July 2008, under the leadership of Luc Cote, a Canadian attorney experienced in investigating and prosecuting international crimes interviewed over 1,280 witnesses and gathered more than 1,500 documents throughout the DRC between October 2008 and May 2009, the article said.

The Report, submitted in June 2009 to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was finalized in August 2010. After being leaked to the media, it was officially released two months later, in October 2010.

"The alleged killings of more than 40,000 Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka, and the atrocities committed by the Sri Lanka Security forces are eerily similar to or worse than the information unearthed by the UN Report on Congo that points to the perpetration of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and possible genocide within parts of the republic of Congo," a spokesperson for Tamils Against Gencide (TAG), a US-based activist group said.

The ASIL article noting that "the prevailing impunity for yesterday’s crimes often makes today’s crimes possible, as those responsible are frequently the same perpetrators," concludes that "[i]n such circumstances, holding criminals accountable would help abate the cycle of violence."

"Even with an uncooperative Sri Lankan Government, using the Satellite technology available with the United States Defense Department and the United Nation's internal UNOSAT program, an International Investigative Panel should have at its disposal sufficient independent capacity to build a legally enforceable war-crimes charge sheet against Sri Lanka," TAG spokesperson added.


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