The UN report on Sri Lanka has identified ‘patterns of grave violations in Sri Lanka between 2002 and 2011, strongly indicating that war crimes and crimes against humanity were most likely committed by both sides to the conflict’, UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said a short while ago as the much awaited report on Sri Lanka was made publicly available.
The OISL was mandated at the UNHRC in March 2014 through US Sponsored resolution 25/1, which requested the High Commissioner to ‘undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), and to establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations and of the crimes perpetrated with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedures mandate holders.’While the investigation was carried out by a group of OHCHR staff, the HC also appointed three experts including former Presidnet of Finland – Martti Ahtisaari, Former High Court Judge of New Zealand – Silvia Cartwright and former President of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Asma Jahangir, to play a supportive and advisory role and to provide independent verification throughout the investigation.
The recommendations of the OISL report included a call for a hybrid court to address war crimes committed by both sides of the conflict. However, the report hasn’t cited names of any particular individual responsible for crimes. Follow up criminal inquiry was required to understand individual criminal responsibilities clearly, the report further said.
The report can be accessed at: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/OISL.aspx