'UN Ignored Plight of Lankan Tamils'
Hundreds belonging to around 18 pro-Tamil outfits, led by the May 17 Movement, were arrested after they attempted to besiege the UNICEF office in Adyar condemning the United Nations for not ordering a transparent international inquiry into the alleged war crimes by Sri Lanka during the final stages of the Eelam War IV.
The protesters accused the UN of sending cricket bats and black boards rather than life saving medicines to the affected civilian areas in the Island nation which led to further loss of lives.
The protesters began gathering in the service lane leading to the UNICEF office in Kasturibai Nagar in Adyar around 10 am. Police protection was stepped up by South Chennai joint commissioner of police S Thirugnanam, who supervised the protest. The protesters burnt flags bearing the UN symbols and held placards condemning the UN’s continued inaction over war crimes and its stalling of the process of conduct of referendum for forming a separate nation.
Speaking to Express, Thirumurugan Gandhi, coordinator, May 17 Movement, said that the UN’s failure to prevent the war was exposed by the Petrie Report released during November 2012. “Human rights violation in Sri Lanka and the deliberate ignoring of it by UN officials including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, his then chef de cabinet Vijay Nambiar and under secretary for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes should be investigated,” he said.
He said that the proposed international independent investigation recommended by the UNHRC was ignored by Ban Ki-moon, denying justice to Tamils.
He urged the UN to implement the recommendations of the panel of experts on accountability in Sri Lanka, known as the Experts Panel report.