The United Nations (UN) today once again admitted that it failed on Sri Lanka during the final stages of the war.
Speaking to reporters after wrapping up his visit to the country, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the UN admits that it failed during the war in Sri Lanka.
He recalled that a commission appointed by the UN had noted the failures of the UN during the war and the steps which need to be taken in future.
However the UN Secretary General stopped short of making a public apology to the families of the victims of the war over the failure of the UN to protect those now missing or dead.
The Secretary-General’s Internal Review Panel (IRP) headed by Charles Petrie had noted the systemic failure of United Nations action during the final stages of the war including the withdrawal of UN staff in September 2008 which removed the ‘protection by presence’ capacity of the United Nations, shortly before months of intense armed conflict that left tens of thousands of dead.
The report concluded with a series of recommendations on how the United Nations can strengthen its protection of human rights in similar situations in the future.
Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, noted today that while there was a joint statement issued with the former government when he visited Sri Lanka in 2009, most of the mechanisms which were to be put in place never materialised.
He commanded the government of President Maithripala Sirisena for the efforts taken to address reconciliation and accountability.
The UN Secretary General said that the transitional justice process must be credible for both Sri Lankans and the international community. (Colombo Gazette)