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SL gov’t “investigation” of execution tape not independent – UN envoy

September 23, 2009

Radio Australia Sri Lankan video investigations not independent: UN envoy

“Well, the Sri Lankan Government has recently produced a statement by four experts. The requirement under international law when there is an ostensibly valid allegation that a serious human rights violation has been committed, is to carry out a thorough and impartial investigation of the allegations. What the government has done, is to produce analysis by two of the members of its own army – in other words, the very body that is accused of carrying out the crime and perhaps unsurprisingly, these two army officials say that they don’t think the video is convincing. They have also hired an academic, a Sri Lankan, who has done work for the government before. I have no quibble with his qualifications or with what he said, but it’s still a very unsatisfactory approach when it comes to showing real independence and impartiality. And finally, they have used the analysis of another gentleman who is apparently based in Australia, but of Sri Lankan origin, who claims to have and appears to have a significant technical credentials in this area. He first wrote an opinion piece in one of the Sri Lankan daily newspapers asserting that this (video) was a fake, based on his own examinations. The government then took him up, employed him as an expert to provide a more detailed report, but the government has not showed us any of these four reports. They have shown us brief summaries of them and the bottom line is that you have got very serious allegations and you have got a handful of experts who are extremely close to the government who provide no sense of an impartial investigation of the type required.”

– Professor Philip Alston, UN Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions

Download audio report here.
Listen to audio report from source.
Read transcript here.

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