Sri Lanka called to account over human rights abuses

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Kyung- wha Kang

Calls have been repeated for an international inquiry into allegations of serious human rights violations committed during Sri Lanka's civil war.

The call comes in a report by the United Nations Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights which says that Sri Lanka has failed to properly address allegations of human rights abuses. The report has been presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, says that much remains to be done in terms of reconciliation and accountability in the country:

"There have been no meaningful steps to address the serious human rights crimes identified by the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka. The military courts of inquiry appointed by the government lacked the required independence and have thus far exonerated the armed forces, while many longer-standing cases remain unresolved, such as the killing of five students in Trincomalee and 17 ACF humanitarian workers in Muttur in 2006."

Reports continue of extrajudicial killings, disappearances and threats to human rights defenders and journalists in Sri Lanka. Ms Kyung-wha Kang says that attacks on lawyers and judges over the past year have eroded the rule of law while acts of intolerance and violence against Muslim and Christian communities have reinforced concern for the protection of minorities.

Nicki Chadwick, UN Radio, Geneva.

Duration: 1'30"

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