WASHINGTON: The United Nations will start an investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes during the civil war between the government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in Washington.
Pillay said that the investigation will be completed in 10 months.
A previous UN report stated that about 40,000 civilians may have died amid government shelling in the final five months of the conflict in 2009. The government forces have also been accused of executing ethnic Tamil rebel leaders who tried to surrender.
Three distinguished experts who will advise and support the UN investigation team set up to conduct a comprehensive investigation of alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka include former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Martti Ahtisaari, former Governor General and High Court judge of New Zealand Silvia Cartwright and former President of Pakistan’s Supreme Court Bar Association and of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Asma Jahangir.
The investigation team with whom they will work will consist of 12 staff including investigators, forensics experts, a gender specialist, a legal analyst and various other staff with specialized skills.
Sri Lanka has already refused to cooperate with the United Nations investigation into alleged war crimes during the final phase of the country’s civil war, saying it will not subject itself to the jurisdiction of the top rights body.