Home > Asia-Pacific News > UN: Civilians used as shells and killed during Sri Lanka civil war

UN: Civilians used as shells and killed during Sri Lanka civil war

UN said that the shelling by the Sri Lanka government in May 2009, the final stage of the 26-year-long civil war, had killed most of tens of thousands of civilians.

A soldier searches a schoolbag

A soldier searches a schoolbag

Tamil rebel, namely LTTE (Tamil Tiger), was also accused of using civilians as human shields by the UN panel. The UN urged an independent international investigation on the fact but the Sri Lanka government rejected the final report. The Sri Lanka government also said the report was biased and fraudulent.

Lakshman Hulugalle, the government spokesman, said: “The Sri Lankan army is not responsible and [the] Sri Lankan government is not responsible [of the using human shields and therewith deceases].

“We never shelled or we never bombed. We never targeted innocent civilians. It’s wrong allegation and we can prove it.”

The government had asked the UN not to publish the report as it could damage reconciliation efforts.

Report of the Secretary-general’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka

the UN Report

The UN report

The Report of the Secretary-general’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka constructs a brutal image of the battle in northern Sri Lanka. It also describes prisoners being shot in the head and women raped while runners being executed.

Experts from the UN said there were “credible allegations, which if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international rights law was committed both by the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity”.

A formal and public recognition of the government’s responsibility for the civilian casualties in the last stage of the war was urged by the UN.

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