The Straits Times
Published on Nov 14, 2012

Internal probe says UN failed Sri Lanka: report


LONDON (AFP) - The United Nations failed in its mandate to protect civilians in the final months of Sri Lanka's civil war, according to a draft of a damning internal UN report seen by the BBC on Tuesday.

"Events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN," the draft said, adding that the world body should "be able to meet a much higher standard in fulfilling its protection and humanitarian responsibilities".

Sri Lankan forces finally crushed Tamil rebels in May 2009 following decades of brutal fighting. The conflict claimed up to 100,000 lives, according to UN estimates, and both sides are accused of war crimes.

The report blasts senior UN staff in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo who "did not perceive the prevention of killing of civilians as their responsibility - and agency and department heads at UNHQ were not instructing them otherwise".