World Bulletin / News Desk
The UN has called for Sri Lanka to be held to account in addressing war crimes committed at the end of its decades-long civil war and to reduce its military presence in the country's war-affected north.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein observed in an annual report, being debated at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Wednesday, that the country has made slow progress in promoting accountability for post-war reconciliation.
The report highlights the need to "strengthen civilian oversight over the military ... over defense policy, discipline and promotion, budgeting and procurement."
It highlighted the government's failure to build confidence among the Tamil minority dominant in the north, where the war was concentrated, and noted that a 2015 process to release military-held land to civilians had not progressed as planned.
A top Foreign Ministry source in Colombo, who could not be named as they were not authorized to speak to media, said that the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will tell the UNHRC that Sri Lanka is setting up special domestic courts to address accountability issues.
Since the end of the civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka has rejected an international probe of the alleged war crimes committed by the army but has proposed setting up a domestic mechanism, modeled in part on South Africa's post-apartheid tribunals, supported by the main Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance.
Sri Lanka's bloody 30 year civil war fought between the Sinhala-majority government and the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who wanted a separate state for the Tamil minority in northern and parts of eastern Sri Lanka.