Accountability critically important says UN Chief

Tuesday, 5 March 2013 01:51 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon flagged persisting accountability concerns about the final phase of Sri Lanka’s war with the LTTE in 2009 as “critically important” and urged the country to work constructively with the international community to address those challenges.

Responding to a question posed by a Mexican journalist following the screening of the controversial Channel 4 film entitled ‘No Fire Zone’ in the UN premises in Geneva last Friday, the UN Chief acknowledged the steps taken by the Sri Lankan Government since the end of the conflict, but said reconciliation and accountability challenges remained.

Asked if he would support calls for an independent probe of alleged excesses during the final phase of the conflict in Sri Lanka, the Secretary General said: “I have consistently underlined the critical importance of addressing accountability in Sri Lanka through a genuine and comprehensive national process achieving national reconciliation.”

He said that he had received the report of an accountability assessment mission to Sri Lanka in New York the previous week.

“Representatives of Bangladesh, Nigeria, Rumania, Sri Lanka and a Colombia University professor participated in an observation project to Sri Lanka last December. I recognised through our meeting with them the important steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict and strongly underlined the need to address the remaining challenges particularly on issues relating to reconciliation and accountability,” the UN Chief said.

The Secretary General was addressing a press briefing following his remarks to the UNHRC High Level Panel on Human Rights last Friday.