A little local difficulty

Horrific report in the Times today – it’s possible more than 20,000 people were killed as Sri Lankan forces made their final push against the Tamil Tigers over the last few weeks.

The paper has aerial photos which have been examined by experts and apparently show that the Sri Lankan military must have fired the shells which likely killed thousands of people. As the Times leader points out, this may have been a massacre on the scale of Srebrenica or Darfur.

And what has the UN’s Human Rights Council, the highest global body with authority to actually act on allegations of human rights abuses, resolved to do about the situation? On Wednesday it passed a stunning resolution effectively patting the Sri Lankan government on the back for sorting out a little internal difficulty.

Governments everywhere need to take a good look at this and what it has done to the credibility of anyone in the international community who talks about justice for victims of human rights abuses. And then they need to insist that Sri Lanka accepts independent monitors now, and on that basis assess whether a war crimes investigation needs to happen. 

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