The Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide to UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon, Adama Dieng, says Sri Lanka is at an important stage in its post war recovery.
He told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, during the ongoing 31st session, that Sri Lanka has a chance to make things right by investing in reconciliation and an impartial accountability process that would restore confidence and reduce the risk of recurrence of the past violence.
Meanwhile, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said that the UN wants to make sure that there is an actual good‑faith effort by the Government of Sri Lanka when investigating incidents related to the war.
He told a daily briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York that the UN is trying to encourage an effort to get to the bottom of what happened in the end of the conflict.
“Well, you’ll have seen what we’ve been saying about the [Maithripala] Sirisena Government and its efforts to investigate. We’re trying to encourage an effort to get to the bottom of what happened in the end of the conflict with the Tamils. And we want to make sure that there’s an actual good‑faith effort by the Government of Sri Lanka to do that, and we’ll keep pressing on that,” he said.
Adama Dieng, meanwhile, told the UN Human Rights Council that the increasing and alarming disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law in many situations of conflict around the world was making atrocity crimes a systematic occurrence rather than an exception.
“The international community had betrayed the high expectations generated by the adoption of the Geneva Conventions in 1949. I feel that human life has lost its value,” he said, adding that the international community was struggling to find ways to hold armed non-State actors accountable.
He also reviewed situations around the world of extreme violence against civilians, noting that in Afghanistan and Yemen, medical facilities had been targeted, and in the Central African Republic, children had been targeted because of their religion or community affiliation, shot or hacked to death with machetes, and raped, at times even by United Nations peacekeepers. (Colombo Gazette)