Sri Lanka: no cooperation with war crimes inquiry

Sri Lanka's foreign minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris announced on April 7 that Sri Lanka would not cooperate with a UN investigation into alleged war crimes committed during the country's civil war. The UN Human Rights Council last month voted to launch an investigation into alleged violations committed by government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009 towards the end of the civil war. However, speaking at a Foreign Correspondents Association forum, Peiris signaled Sri Lanka's intent not to cooperate due to concerns over legality, fairness, and conflict of interest. Peiris also expressed criticism of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pillay, who has previously been accused of being partial given her Tamil background.

From Jurist, April 7. Use with permission.

  1. Vulgar triumphalism in Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka's government on May 19 held a military "Victory Parde" in the southern port of Matara to commemorate five years since the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, attended by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other dignitaries. But when Tamils tried to hold a commemoration of the dead on their side of the war in the northern city of Jaffna, it was quickly shut down by security forces. Government troops also sealed off the offices of the Jaffna opposition newspaper Uthayan, and shut down Jaffna University. (AFP, NYT, May 18)