Former UN official tells Sri Lanka not to count on UN for justice

By Easwaran Rutnam

A former United Nations (UN) official has told Sri Lanka not to count on the UN for justice.

Former Assistant Secretary General and former Chair of a UN Panel, Charles Petrie, said that the UN lacks courage to act on the Sri Lanka issue.

Speaking at a webinar organised by the Global Tamil Forum, Center for Human Rights and Global Justice – New York University, Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice and the Canadian Tamil Congress, Petrie said that the UN cannot say it does not have the system in place to address the issue.

He said that there are UN officials in Colombo and elsewhere who want to do the right thing.

But he asserted that the UN lacks courage and so the Sri Lankan public must not depend on the UN.

He said that if the Sri Lankan public depend on the UN they maybe dissapointed.

Instead, he said if the Sri Lankan public count on their own resilience and the UN performs it would be an unexpected win.

Petrie headed a panel appointed by then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to conduct a comprehensive review of action by the United Nations system during the war in Sri Lanka and the aftermath.

The panel had found that the United Nations system failed to meet its responsibilities — highlighting, in particular, the roles played by the Secretariat, the agencies and programmes of the UN Country Team, and the members of the Security Council and Human Rights Council. (Colombo Gazette)