Sri Lanka offers attack aircraft to UN

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 June 2011, 13:04 GMT]
Sri Lanka has offered to supply the United Nations with three Mi-24 attack helicopters and a pair of fix wing aircraft for peacekeeping duties, but a decision to accept would not only generate controversy, but potentially trigger a US review of Sri Lanka's human rights conduct, Foreign Policy magazine reported Wednesday. The Sri Lanka pledge appears calculated to improve Sri Lanka's relationship with the United Nations at a time when it is facing mounting UN pressure to hold alleged war criminals within the army's ranks accountable, UN officials told FP magazine.

Under the so-called Leahy law, written by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) the US State Department is required to vet the human rights records of foreign military contingents serving in UN peacekeeping missions, if there is reason to believe they may have been engaged in atrocities.

Sri Lanka’s attack helicopters and planes were integral to the mass bombardment from air sea and land that killed 40,000 Tamil civilians in the first five months of 2009.

Last month, the United Nations signed a ‘routine’ agreement with Sri Lanka so that resources can be accessed when needed for peacekeeping.

This is despite 20% of a Sri Lankan peacekeeping force in Haiti being sent back in 2007 after UN investigations confirmed reports of sexual exploitation of children, and there having been no prosecutions against the soldiers once repatriated.

In its own investigation, the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) concluded that “acts of sexual exploitation and abuse (against children) were frequent and occurred usually at night, and at virtually every location where the contingent personnel were deployed.”

“In exchange for sex, the children received small amounts of money, food, and sometimes mobile phones,” OIOS said. It added that charges should include rape because the sexual exploitation involved children.

However, the UN said, responsibility for punishing the troops rested with Sri Lanka.

But Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, responding at the time to the reports, said of the troops: “I respect them profoundly and consider them as the most disciplined Forces in the world. They have not killed or raped anybody.”


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
26.03.20 23:38   Photo
Monk praises Gota for releasing SLA soldier from death row, celebrates genocidaire soldier as “hero”
25.03.20 23:06   Photo
Island-wide Corona infection estimated at 550 with spread risk to 19,000 persons
24.03.20 16:26   Photo
US escalates tensions in South China Sea amidst Corona pandemic, Chinese media blame
23.03.20 22:52   Photo
UNHRC urged to adopt multitrack investigations, including SL State responsibility for genocide
22.03.20 22:05  
Colombo set to receive more concessional loans from China
21.03.20 22:51   Photo
India, France carry out joint surveillance mission from Reunion Island
20.03.20 19:34  
Trump Administration politicises MCC assistance: US policy analyst
19.03.20 21:34   Photo
Bay of Bengal study notes development disparity between North-East and South
18.03.20 22:57  
China Development Bank extends syndicated loan to Colombo by $500 million
17.03.20 22:51  
Gotabaya appoints Silva as head of SL operation centre to prevent corona outbreak
16.03.20 22:26  
UN Rights Chief must act to refer “Sri Lanka” crimes to ICC
15.03.20 18:46   Photo
Phil Miller’s work reveals British role in dividing Tamils and Muslims in East: Dr Malathy
14.03.20 23:47   Photo
Moragoda’s “think tank” justifies Sinhala apprehension to MCC, proposes renegotiations
13.03.20 23:22   Photo
Australia upgrades air defence boosting strategic military ties with US to deter China in Indo-Pacific
12.03.20 23:47   Photo
US, UK conduct 24-day long Bay of Bengal military ‘interoperability’ training with Bangladesh
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=34077