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UN must learn from Sri Lanka

Kennedy Graham MP
kennedy [dot] graham [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)

It comes as no great surprise to discover that international agencies such as the United Nations were unable to protect civilians in the final months of Sri Lanka’s civil war according to a leaked report.

The last few months of the civil war in Sri Lanka were every bit as bloody and violent as the current one war in Syria.

My former Green Party MP colleague, Keith Locke, organised screenings of a powerful documentary on this conflict late last year.  The Film ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ is a shocking film, made using cell-phone footage to show what it was like for the 300,000 civilians repeatedly bombed and shelled by the Sri Lankan military.

This is not to deny that atrocities were inflicted by both sides to the conflict.

The fact the United Nations was unable to protect civilians everywhere is disturbing.  However it is also disturbing that the international community appears to have taken no action against those that ordered such atrocities, in particular the brutal shelling of Tamil civilians.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  Navi Pillay said “The way this conflict was conducted, under the guise of fighting terrorism, challenged the very foundations of the rules of war and cost the lives of tens of thousands of civilians.”

It is high time that there was some justice for the civilian victims of those who were in power in Sri Lanka during the time of the conflict.

 

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