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12:12 (IST), April 21

UN pushes for justice for Easter victims in Sri Lanka

The United Nations on Sunday called on Sri Lanka to overcome its “accountability deficit” and ensure justice as the country commemorates the 279 victims of its worst attack on civilians five years ago.

The UN’s top representative in the country, Marc-Andre Franche, told a commemoration event in Colombo that a “thorough and transparent investigation” should be carried out to identify those behind the 2019 Easter massacre.

Islamist bombers hit three churches and three hotels in the island’s deadliest suicide attack on civilians, but grieving families say they are still waiting for justice.

Among the dead were 45 foreigners, including tourists, visiting the island a decade after the end of a brutal ethnic conflict that claimed more than 100,000 lives since 1972.

“Sri Lanka suffers from a persistent deficit of accountability, whether for alleged war crimes, recent human rights abuses, corruption or abuse of power, which must be addressed if the country is to move forward,” Franch said.

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