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Australia left wanting when allegations of war crimes arise

Recent reports of an Australian/Sri Lankan citizen’s alleged involved in the commission of war crimes at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war raise once again questions about where Australia stands on the question of war crimes allegedly committed either by its citizens or by people who now live in this country.Palitha Kohona, a dual citizen of Australia and Sri Lanka, has been accused of assisting in organising the alleged murders of three surrendering Tamil Tigers in 2009. In January, two Tamil organisations operating outside Sri Lanka — the Swiss Council of Eelam Tamils and a US group called Tamils Against Genocide — submitted a request to investigate Kohona for the murder of three surrendering Tamil Tigers to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Kohuna is said to have been prominent in negotiating the surrender of the victims while serving in the Sri Lankan government, but has denied any involvement in the alleged event. He is now Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the United Nations.

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Panel of experts finds credible reports of war crimes during Sri Lanka conflict – UN

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25 April 2011 – The panel of experts set up to advise Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on accountability issues with respect to the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka has found credible reports of war crimes committed by both the Government and Tamil rebels and calls for genuine investigations into the allegations, according to a report made public today by the United Nations. 

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