UN Authority Figures

UN General Assembly Sixth Committee,
the Legal Committee, Chair: Sri Lanka

Photo: Scene from "No Fire Zone", NoFireZone.org
In 2009 more than 100,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka by the government forces during the conflict with the Tamils. "No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka", a BBC Channel 4 movie about the final months of the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war, is nothing less than direct evidence of war crimes, summary execution, torture and sexual violence. The Sri Lankan government still denies this all happened in what they describe as an "humanitarian rescue".(NoFireZone.org)

Mission of the Sixth Committee, the Legal Committee, of the General Assembly: "The Sixth Committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly." (General Assembly - Legal Committee web-site, "Sixth Committee")

Term of office: 2013-2014

Sri Lanka's Record on legal questions:
"The major human rights problems were attacks on and harassment of...persons viewed as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) sympathizers...Other serious human rights problems included unlawful killings by security forces and government-allied paramilitary groups, often in predominantly Tamil areas...Discrimination against...the ethnic Tamil minority continued, and a disproportionate number of victims of human rights violations were Tamils...There were numerous reports throughout the year of victims randomly selected by police to be arrested and detained on unsubstantiated charges...the law does not clearly define what constitutes an arbitrary arrest...Many detainees continued to be held arbitrarily for prolonged periods without charge, including in irregular places of detention...Widespread impunity persisted, particularly for cases of police torture, corruption, human rights abuses, and attacks on media institutions...There were credible reports that detainees often did not have a lawyer present at the time of interrogation...There were coordinated moves during the year by the government to undermine the independence of the judiciary." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2012, Sri Lanka)