Day in court: UN-der performance, no ace served yet

The epic stand-off on Wimbledon’s court 18 yesterday, made compelling viewing  as the two men battled it out under the gaze of a sweltering, yet captivated audience, trying desperately to commit the players’ names and ever ascending score to memory for future pub quiz fodder – and it aint over yet. 

Speaking of lengthy battles that lack conclusion, the announcement of a newly appointed UN advisory panel, charged with reporting on accountability in the Sri Lankan armed conflict which lasted a whopping 25 years, was met with disdain from the Sri Lankan authorities this week. 

It is disappointing that the three UN experts are only required to advise the Secretary-General on possible accountability for human rights violations, and that the panel’s remit is such a vague one. It is certainly not the investigatory body that Amnesty has so long been calling for, to examine the culpability of both sides in the conflict and asses the actions of government forces and members of the LTTE. 

An independent UN investigation could provide the catharsis the country is still in desperate need of, so soon after the first anniversary of the end of the conflict and end the long-standing culture of impunity in Sri Lanka.

It would also send a global message that the international community cares about the victims of war, and holding perpetrators of abuses to account. Ban Ki Moon has not yet delivered the independent and comprehensive investigation that is necessary to provide closure for the people of Sri Lanka, but this is very definitely a move in the right direction. Much like the match which is due to recommence back on the turf of South London this afternoon, there needs to be an ending at some point so that everyone can move on and similarly too, the appropriate place is a court. 

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