Sri Lanka rights report given to UN chief

UNITED NATIONS, April 12, 2011 (AFP) – A panel of UN experts on Tuesday handed over a report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka against Tamil separatists to UN leader Ban Ki-moon, his spokesman said. But the United Nations would not say whether the panel was allowed to go to Sri Lanka, which publicly had refused to recognize the three-member panel.

“During a meeting today in New York, the secretary general received the members of the panel of experts established to advise him on accountability issues with respect to the conflict in Sri Lanka,” said deputy spokesman Farhan Haq.

“He will study the report carefully and will determine his next steps in the coming days,” Haq told reporters.

A copy of the report has been sent to the Sri Lankan government “as a matter of courtesy before making it public,” the spokesman added.

Haq would not say whether the panel had been allowed to go to Sri Lanka, declaring only that details would be in the report when it is released.

The United States has led calls for a full investigation into the deaths of civilians in the final months of fighting between Sri Lankan troops and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Troops wiped o