Top of the Morning: France Recognizes Syrian Opposition; UN Sri Lanka Report

Top stories from DAWNS Digest.

Report Takes Tough Look at UN’s Response to Sri Lanka Massacre

An internal review of the the UN’s response to the massacre of as many as 40,000 civilians in the waning five months of the civil war in Sri Lanka is expected to be released today. BBC received a leaked preview. “The UN’s investigation into its own conduct during the last months of the conflict says the organisation should in future ‘be able to meet a much higher standard in fulfilling its protection and humanitarian responsibilities’.The report does highlight the positive role played by some UN staff on the ground and the secretary general, but it points to a ‘systemic failure.’ The panel questions decisions such as the withdrawal of UN staff from the war zone in September 2008 after the Sri Lankan government warned it could no longer guarantee their safety.” (BBC

France Recognizes Syrian Opposition Group as Legitimate Syrian Government

France becomes the first western country to formally recognize the newly formed Syrian opposition coalition as the proper government of Syria.The Gulf Cooperation Council recognized the coalition yesterday, but so far the rest of Europe and the USA are holding back. “In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner called the coalition a legitimate representative of the Syrian people. But he said the United States wants to see how it organizes itself and whether it proves to also be an effective representative. Other European nations and the Arab League have also said they support the new coalition, but are not ready to give full recognition.” (VOA