UNITED NATIONS, September 13, 2011 (AFP) – UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Monday sent a report accusing Sri Lankan troops of killing tens of thousands of civilians to the UN Human Rights Council, bringing a potential international inquiry one step closer. Ban has said that he alone cannot order an inquiry into the killings during a final offensive against Tamil separatists in 2009 — which the Sri Lankan government has strongly denied — but that a forum such as the Human Rights Council could do so.
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said the report had been sent to the Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
A panel of experts named by Ban said in April that the Sri Lankan army killed most of the tens of thousands of civilian victims of a final offensive against Tamil separatists in 2009 but both sides may be guilty of war crimes.
The panel’s report — angrily opposed by the Sri Lankan government — painted a barbarous picture of the offensive on the Tamil enclave in the north of the island that ended a three-decade war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). “The Sri Lankan Government has been informed of the secretary general’s decision to share the report with the council and the high commissioner,” said N