‘War and War Crimes’

Southasia - - Editor's mail -

A hard-hit­ting UN re­port has found com­pelling ev­i­dence of war crimes by the Sri Lankan mil­i­tary dur­ing the fi­nal phase of its war against LTTE in 2009. The re­port puts the death toll up to 40,000 and calls for an in­ter­na­tional in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which could have far-reach­ing con­se­quences. Un­for­tu­nately, both, the UN and the gov­ern­ment have so far failed to act on the re­port’s main rec­om­men­da­tion, a com­mis­sion of in­quiry, de­spite the fact that UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon and Sri Lankan Pres­i­dent Mahinda Ra­japaksa have jointly promised accountability. So what is it that is stop­ping a probe of the al­leged war crimes? The re­port, which talks of “a grave as­sault on the en­tire regime of in­ter­na­tional law,” pro­vides a chance to achieve rec­on­cil­i­a­tion through truth and accountability, pro­vid­ing the sta­bil­ity that post-con­flict Sri Lanka badly needs.

Con­versely, the fail­ure to act would be a missed op­por­tu­nity on a grand scale. Our lead­ers need to re­al­ize this. Dr. T.M. Fer­nan­dez,

Kandy, Sri Lanka

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