Oct 17, New York: The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Sri Lankan government to find a speedy political solution to the underlying factors behind the country's civil war which ended three years ago in May 2009.
The UN Chief, while noting the Sri Lankan government's latest efforts on accountability as well as the steady progress on resettlement issues, has raised the issue of a political solution and emphasized the need for a quick measure when he met with Sri Lanka's Special Presidential Envoy on Human Rights, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe Tuesday at UN Headquarters in New York.
According to the Secretary-General's spokesperson Martin Nesirky, the discussion between Minister Samarasinghe and the UN Chief was mainly focused on the recommendations of Sri Lanka's Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
The Special Envoy has briefed on the follow-up to the recommendations, and the Secretary-General has encouraged further progress. They also discussed climate change, according to the Spokesperson.
"The Sri Lankan Special Envoy was able to provide an update on how those recommendations are being implemented and the Secretary-General encouraged the Sri Lankan authorities to keep that momentum going," the spokesperson told the media.
Asked about a UN review on lessons learned in Sri Lanka, Nesirky has said that the report was still being worked on.
"This (the review) is an internal looking report and it is in the works," he has said.
The UN Secretary-General has long called for full accountability, and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March has called on the Sri Lankan government to take "all necessary additional steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans."
A three-member UN panel of experts on accountability issues during the civil war found there were credible reports that both Government forces and the LTTE committed war crimes during the final months of the conflict. It recommended that the Government respond to the allegations by initiating an effective accountability process starting with genuine investigations.
Sri Lanka's progress in the human rights front will be under scrutiny when the UNHRC begins the country's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process on November 1.
The Sri Lankan government has prepared and submitted a comprehensive report that included the work carried out by the country with regard to human rights between the period of 2008 and March 2012.