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

  • Trial of B.C. polygamous sect followers to hear defence's closing arguments

    Canada News CTV News
    CRANBROOK, B.C. - A defence lawyer in a trial involving three people with ties to a British Columbia polygamous community is expected to deliver his closing arguments today. John Gustafson is representing Brandon Blackmore, who is accused of taking a 13-year-old girl into the United States for a sexual purpose in 2004. Source
  • Recovery of Oakland warehouse fire victims winds down; investigation looms

    World News CTV News
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Some people were able to text loved ones goodbye and "I love you" before they died in an Oakland warehouse fire that claimed three dozen lives, officials said, as heart-rending reports of victims' last moments emerged from the most lethal building fire in the U.S. Source
  • 80 per cent of Filipino youth suffer violence, UNICEF survey says

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines - A United Nations agency that promotes children's rights says its survey shows a high prevalence of violence against Filipino children, with eight out of 10 suffering some form of physical or psychological abuse, with the highest number of incidents found among lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender youth. Source
  • Klay Thompson of NBA's Warriors scores 60 points in just 29 minutes

    World News CBC News
    Klay Thompson wanted one more quarter. He wanted to score 80, and thinks he absolutely could have. Hard to argue that one: He went off for 60 points in 29 head-shaking, jaw-dropping, defense-breaking minutes. "Who knows? I know he would have kept shooting," coach Steve Kerr said. Source
  • Bill Cosby's stunning deposition can be used at trial, judge rules

    World News CBC News
    Damaging testimony that Bill Cosby gave in an accuser's lawsuit, including admissions that he gave young women drugs and alcohol before sex, can be used at his sex assault trial, a judge ruled Monday. The defence has insisted Cosby testified only after being promised he would never be charged over his 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand, a Toronto native. Source
  • 'We have lost everything': Syrians return to Aleppo

    World News CTV News
    ALEPPO, Syria -- Amina Hamawy burst into tears and then fainted when she returned to eastern Aleppo to find that looters had ransacked her home. "Where am I? What happened?" she asked after her husband and daughter revived her. Source
  • U.S. watching Ferguson, lead monitor says in bid to end racial bias in policing and courts

    World News CTV News
    FERGUSON, Mo. - The lead monitor overseeing efforts to eradicate racial bias in Ferguson's police and court system told residents Monday that the "eyes of the whole nation" are on the St. Louis suburb. Clark Ervin spoke to about 100 people at a town hall meeting in the town forever changed following the Aug. Source
  • Texas Republican won't cast electoral college vote for Trump

    World News CBC News
    A Republican member of the Electoral College from Texas said Monday that he won't cast one of his state's 38 electoral votes for Donald Trump because "I am here to elect a president, not a king. Source
  • Could Dakota Access pipeline move after permit denial?

    World News CTV News
    OMAHA, Neb. - The Army's refusal to grant a permit for the Dakota Access oil pipeline to cross beneath the Missouri River has focused more attention on alternative routes, but several other options already have been considered and rejected as being more risky and expensive. Source
  • Cuba starts return to normal as mourning for Castro ends

    World News CTV News
    HAVANA -- Music is playing in the streets again. Tourists are sipping mojitos at sidewalk cafes. Flags are flapping at full staff. After nine days of national mourning for Fidel Castro, Cuba is slowly returning to noisy, boisterous normality. Source