UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he lacks the authority to personally order a probe into the mass killings of civilians in the final months of Sri Lanka's civil war, as a report recommended on Monday.
A panel appointed by Ban said in the report on the 2008-2009 fighting in northeastern Sri Lanka that it found evidence that the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were guilty of war crimes and recommended that those crimes be investigated and suspects prosecuted. It urged him to proceed to establish "an independent international mechanism" to investigate the quarter-century war's final stages.
But Ban said that he could not on his own follow the recommendation of his advisory panel in the more than 200-page report, which has been rejected as biased and fraudulent by the Sri Lankan government.
"In regard to the recommendation that he establish an international investigation mechanism, the Secretary-General is advised that this will require host country (Sri Lankan) consent or a decision from member states through an appropriate intergovernmental forum," Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said.
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