ICG wants independent international investigation into Sri Lanka's civil war

December 24, 2011 08:58 pm | Updated 08:58 pm IST - COLOMBO:

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) has criticised Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report for failing to provide “the thorough and independent investigation of alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that the UN and other partners of Sri Lanka have been asking for” during the Eelam War IV.

It called upon the international community - through the U.N. Human Rights Council – “to establish an independent international investigation in 2012. Without such an investigation, accountability for the crimes committed at the end of the civil war is highly unlikely,” it said in a statement released on December 22.

The Tamil National Alliance, an umbrella group of Tamil political parties, has already called for an international accountability mechanism, saying that the LLRC did not do justice to the victims of the war.

The ICG said that the “responsibility now falls on the international community to take up the task of ensuring post-war accountability.” It wants a formal discussion of the report and the U.N. Secretary-General's panel report at the March 2012 session of the U.N. Human Rights Council. This should lead to an independent international mechanism to investigate all credible allegations and to monitor domestic efforts at accountability.

“The Human Rights Council should also take note of the LLRC's recommendations that the government investigate and hold to account those responsible for abductions, disappearances and attacks on journalists – including those committed by armed pro-government Tamil parties. These issues should be addressed on an urgent basis by the Sri Lankan government and its implementation of the commission's recommendations should be monitored on an ongoing basis by the HRC,” the ICG said.

Urging the international community to bring pressure on Sri Lanka, the ICG said that there was “little chance” that the recommendations will fare any better if there was no prodding from outside. Towards this end, it called upon the U.N. Secretary-General, the Human Rights Council, and influential governments, most importantly China, India, Japan, the United States, Canada, Britain, France and the European Union, to step up pressure on Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka's friends in the non-aligned movement, especially South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, have a particularly important role in reminding Sri Lanka of the importance of accountability and demilitarisation to lasting peace and reconciliation,” it added.

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