The following is a declaration by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union:
“The EU considers that the publication of the report of the UN Secretary-General Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka is an important development. It will be recalled that the EU had welcomed the appointment of the Panel by the UNSG in June 2010.
“The Panel has concluded that there are credible allegations that major violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed on all sides in the conflict.
“The EU reiterates its view that an independent process to address these extremely serious allegations should contribute to strengthening the process of reconciliation and ensuring lasting peace and security in Sri Lanka. As the report says, the issue of accountability should be seen as an essential part of the process of national reconciliation.
“The EU therefore hopes that the Government of Sri Lanka will recognise the constructive objectives of the report, and encourages it to engage with the UNSG on its contents."
The EU statement comes ahead of an EU Parliamentary discussion on the UN report on Thursday (May 12), according to The Sunday Times.
Sri Lanka's ambassador to Brussels told the paper: “We are already lobbying parties to ensure that the final resolution has the correct balance.”
Last week the UK's Foreign Office also welcomed the UN experts' report, adding:
“The UK has consistently called for an independent and credible investigation to address these allegations which is why we fully supported the decision of the Secretary-General to establish the Panel of Experts,” a statement said.
“The report sets out the importance of a genuine and independent investigation, so that allegations of abuses are seen to have been addressed. We encourage Sri Lanka to use its response to the UN report and the report’s recommendations to strengthen the process of accountability and support lasting peace and security.”
“The serious nature of the allegations in the report underline that these allegations, and the issue of accountability for them, must be resolved before lasting reconciliation can be achieved in Sri Lanka.”