Acknowledge "voice of victims" in Sri Lanka

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses a youth event in Galle, Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Sri Lanka has been urged by the UN Secretary-General to acknowledge the "voices of the victims" and address "the legacy of the past."

The Indian Ocean island is recovering from more than 25 years of conflict which ended in 2009, but recriminations over abuses by rebels and the government continue.

Jocelyne Sambira reports

Speaking in the capital Colombo, Ban Ki-moon said there was "still much work to be done in order to redress the wrongs of the past" and to restore the legitimacy and accountability of key institutions in Sri Lanka, particularly the judiciary and the security services.

The UN chief commended the government's moves to restore the credibility and independence of the country's Human Rights Commission, but added that it should receive the "respect and resources" it needs to carry out its work effectively, saying that was "critical for reconciliation."

And he urged the authorities to speed up the return of land so that the remaining communities of people displaced by the conflict can return home.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations

Duration: 41″

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