UN rights panel delivers its report on Sri Lanka to the UN Chief

Apr 12, New York: The Panel of Experts appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to advise him on human rights and humanitarian law violations during the last phase of Sri Lanka’s civil war, handed in their report to the UN chief today.

The UN announced that the Secretary-General as a matter of courtesy will share a copy of the report with the Sri Lankan government before it is being made public.

During a meeting today in New York, the Secretary-General received the report from the three-member panel and expressed his appreciation to the panel members for having completed their assignment.

The Secretary-General will study the report carefully and will determine his next steps in the coming days, the UN said.

Former Attorney General of Indonesia Marzuki Darusman chaired the Panel while Yasmin Sooka of South Africa and Steven Ratner of the United States served as the other two members.

The three-member panel was set up following the Joint Statement made by Mr. Ban and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa after the Secretary-General visited the South Asian nation shortly after the end of the conflict in May 2009.

The Panel was given a four-month period to complete its probe on Sri Lanka’s accountability issues during the later stages of the ethnic conflict. They began their work in September 2010. The deadline was extended to February 15 when its initial four-month deadline elapsed in January this year.

The Sri Lankan government vehemently opposed the appointment of the Panel calling the move is ‘unwarranted and unacceptable’ at a time the Sri Lankan President has appointed the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission to look into such allegations.

Sri Lanka wiped out the separatist Tamil Tiger rebel group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and ended the thirty-year long armed conflict in May 2009.

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