UN official asks Sri Lanka to locate people missing from war

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- The top United Nations human rights official asked Sri Lanka's government on Tuesday to quickly locate thousands of civilians reported missing during the country's civil war.

See Full Article

The government has said most are probably dead.

Many ethnic Tamil civilians have not been heard from since they were taken from their homes by police or military personnel or abducted by pro-government militias during the war, which ended in 2009.

Tamil politicians have handed over a list of more than 4,000 people reported missing to visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, with the dates and locations they were last seen.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said last month that most of those reported missing whose names are not in the government's database are probably dead.

Zeid said Tuesday that families who were hopeful of locating their kin were distressed by the prime minister's comment.

"The statement must be followed by rapid action to identify precisely who is still alive and who has died or been killed, properly account for their deaths -- including whether or not they were lawful -- identify the location of their remains, and provide redress," Zeid said.

He concluded a four-day visit to Sri Lanka during which he reviewed the country's efforts to investigate allegations of wartime abuses by government soldiers and ethnic Tamil rebels, and relief for war victims.

The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution last year in which Sri Lanka agreed to investigate allegations of abuse with foreign participation.

Zeid said despite some positive developments there has been an erosion of confidence in the government's reform pledges in the Tamil-majority north and east.

He said downsizing the military to a level that is "less intrusive and intimidating" and quickly releasing private land occupied by the military would help reverse the trend.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Firefighters battle intense wildfires in Utah, California

    World News CBC News
    Better weather conditions have limited the growth of a wildfire in Utah that has prompted the evacuation of 1,500 people from hundreds of homes and cabins, officials said Sunday night. In Southern California, a wildfire broke out after a car crashed on a freeway and prompted evacuations of nearby homes in the city of Santa Clarita. Source
  • LCBO, workers quiet as midnight strike deadline passes

    Canada News CBC News
    A strike deadline came and went early Monday morning, with no news from either the LCBO or the union representing its employees. Workers have said a strike is possible just before Canada Day. Workers have previously said a strike is possible before Canada Day. Source
  • Intense wildfires in Utah, California force evacuations

    World News CTV News
    SALT LAKE CITY - Better weather conditions have limited the growth of a wildfire in Utah that has prompted the evacuation of 1,500 people from hundreds of homes and cabins, officials said Sunday night. In Southern California, a wildfire broke out after a car crashed on a freeway and prompted evacuations of nearby homes in the city of Santa Clarita. Source
  • No arrests as anti-Islam demonstrators clash with counter-protesters at Calgary city hall

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Despite some heated moments, no arrests were made at an anti-Islam rally at Calgary City Hall Sunday afternoon. The anti-Islam protest was originally scheduled for Saturday but the group organizing it, the World Coalition Against Islam (WCAI), had their permit pulled by the city. Source
  • Fugitive lawyer says he's fled the U.S. using fake passport

    World News CTV News
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A fugitive Kentucky lawyer at the centre of a nearly $600 million Social Security fraud case has fled the country using a fake passport and has gotten help from someone overseas with a job to help support himself. Source
  • Pride flag found burned in Taber, Alta.

    Canada News CBC News
    For the second time in as many weeks, a Pride flag flying in Taber, Alta., has been destroyed by vandals. Sometime on Saturday night or early Sunday morning, someone burned the flag being flown in Confederation Park, near the town hall. Source
  • 'Your actual place in society': Minority Montrealers stung by racial divide at Fête nationale parade

    Canada News CBC News
    When Félix Brouillet saw the first float in Saturday's Fête nationale parade in Montreal, he thought he was looking at a scene out of a 1960s movie about ancient Rome. A white woman in a flowing blue dress stood on the float, which was pushed down St. Source
  • Pride group in Taber, Alta. says their flag was burned

    Canada News CTV News
    TABER, Alta. -- Organizers of a southern Alberta town's first Pride event say they'll raise a third rainbow flag after the first was stolen and the one they replaced it with was burned. Jillian Demontigny of the Taber Equality Alliance says her group was notified Sunday that a police officer noticed damage to the flag and scorch marks up the flagpole while driving past Confederation Park. Source
  • Turkish police fire tear gas on banned LGBT Pride March [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    ISTANBUL — As Pride Parade activities across North America have been met by protesters arguing about inclusiveness, other places around the world struggle for the right to even hold marches. Turkish police stopped activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights from gathering in large numbers for an LGBT pride event in Istanbul on Sunday, but smaller groups made impromptu press statements defying a ban imposed by the governor. Source
  • 'I couldn't let that little girl die'; Teen dangling from Six Flags' 'Sky Ride' falls into arms of crowd [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    QUEENSBURY, N.Y. — A teenager fell about 25 feet (about 8 metres) from a stopped gondola ride at an upstate New York amusement park Saturday night, tumbling into a crowd of park guests and employees gathered below to catch her before she hit the ground. Source