Colombo (Sri Lanka), May 25, 2017: An investigation revealed that the U.N. deployed thousands of Sri Lankan peacekeepers despite concerns over the country’s human rights record.
Sri Lanka refuses to allow independent investigations into alleged civil war atrocities. It only recently said it investigated fewer than two dozen of the 134 peacekeepers implicated in a Haiti child sex ring in 2007. The AP found that no one was prosecuted, despite testimonial evidence from nine child victims in the case, mentioned AP report.
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When a Haitian teenager said she’d been raped by a Sri Lankan peacekeeper in 2013, Sri Lanka sent a general accused of war crimes to investigate. He never spoke with the victim but cleared the soldier.
U.N. officials said they are sometimes so desperate for peacekeepers they rely on countries they otherwise wouldn’t.
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India has accused Pakistan of cynically exploiting the situation in Jammu and Kashmir at the General Assembly while it was discussing an important issue.
“Such cynical attempts have failed in the past and do not find any resonance in this body,” Sandeep Kumar Bayyapu, a First Secretary in India’s UN Mission, said on Monday.
He was replying to a reference to Kashmir made by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative Maleeha Lodhi during a debate on the Right to Protect People against crimes against humanity.
“While we are having this serious debate for the first time in a decade on an issue that is of importance to all of us, we have witnessed that one delegation has, yet again, misused this platform to make an unwarranted reference to the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir,” Bayyapu said.
“I would like to place on record and reiterate that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India. No amount of empty rhetoric from Pakistan will change this reality,” he added.
Lodhi had said that many of the victims of killings and “mass-blinding” are “in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir” and that they “have the further indignity of living under an illegal and alien occupation”.
“Against this backdrop, calls for accountability would invariably smack of double standards and selectivity, especially when egregious crimes including killings and mass-blinding are being committed in full view of the international community,” she said.
However, Lodhi also said: “At its core, the responsibility to protect, is not a license to intervene in external situations, but, is instead, a universal principle of ‘non-indifference’, in keeping with historical context and cultural norms of respective settings.”