Sri Lanka must rein in its military forces
Sri Lanka must rein in its military forces, prosecute war crimes committed during the long civil war with Tamil rebels and win the confidence of the Tamil minority, the United Nations said yesterday.
Witnesses must be protected under an effective transitional justice mechanism that should include international judges, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in an annual report.
The military and Tamil Tiger rebels - who were fighting for an independent Tamil state in the north and east of the Indian Ocean island - are both likely to have committed war crimes during the 26-year conflict that ended in 2009, the UN said last year.
President Maithripala Sirisena's government, formed in March 2015, has "consolidated its position, creating a political environment conducive to reforms", but governance reform and transitional justice had lagged, the report said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva said the foreign minister would respond today. "But overall, Zeid's report is positive," he said.
Sirisena has said that foreign participation is not needed for an impartial inquiry.