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Sri Lanka Denies Intimidating UN Staff
Source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-11/15/c_131976795.htm
Source Date: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Sri Lanka
Created: Nov 15, 2012

COLOMBO, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka on Thursday denied that it had intimidated United Nations staff during the final stages of the conflict between the security forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels.

A report submitted to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the UN had failed to meet its responsibilities in Sri Lanka during the war and also accused the government of intimidating UN staff during the final months of the 2009 war in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan President's media unit, however, quoted the President's special human rights envoy, Plantation Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, as saying there was no intimidation of UN workers.

The report was produced by an Internal Review Panel, in the wake of recommendation made by another body, the Secretary-General 's Panel of Experts, which he established in 2010 to advise him on measures to advance accountability following the war's conclusion.

The Panel of Experts' report raised a number of issues, including those regarding the UN response to the situation facing civilians in the north of Sri Lanka in the last months of the war. It recommended "a comprehensive review of action by the United Nations system during the war in Sri Lanka and the aftermath, regarding the implementation of its humanitarian and protection mandates" which, in turn, led to the internal UN review.

Sri Lankan government forces declared victory over the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009, after a conflict that had raged on and off for nearly three decades and killed thousands of people. The final months of the conflict had generated concerns about alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

The Internal Review Panel recently completed its eight-month study, and its head, Charles Petrie, presented its findings and recommendations to the secretary general on Wednesday.
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