Protesters denounce UN report
Vigil against secretary-general's findings that government committed rights abuses
Inter religious leaders walk against the UN report on war crimes
Religious leaders, artists and members of the public rallied May 6 against a UN report on war crimes which was critical of the Sri Lankan government. The report, prepared and published by UN secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has alleged the Sri Lankan army committed a series of human rights violations during the war. Leaders of Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim communities demonstrated in public and held a prayer meeting in Colombo to denounce the report as “biased and one sided.” Catholic film-maker Ravindra Randeniya said the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Elam (LTTE), a terrorist movement that fought for a separate Tamil homeland, had carried out more human rights violations over three decades, killing thousands of innocent people. He said: “LTTE is still playing its ugly role in Sri Lanka by spreading false propaganda abroad and fabricating facts.” He called on the Sri Lankan community to stand united against such forces. A Christian pastor told the rally the report did more harm than good to the reconciliation and rehabilitation process. More than five hundred people took part in a vigil to pray for peace in the country after they completed one kilometer peace walk. The theme of the vigil was ‘Victorious Freedom and Peace”. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon last June appointed a panel to advise him on alleged human rights abuses during the final stages of the war against the Tamil Tiger rebels. The panel gathered evidence for 10 months and submitted its report to him last month, a copy of which was handed over to the Sri Lankan government.