UN failed Sri Lanka civilians, says probe

Updated 14 November 2012
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UN failed Sri Lanka civilians, says probe

COLOMBO: The UN failed in its mandate to protect civilians in the last months of Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war, a leaked draft of a highly critical internal UN report says.
“Events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN,” it concludes, according to the BBC. The government and Tamil rebels are accused of war crimes in the brutal conflict that ended in May 2009.
The UN does not comment on leaked reports and says it will publish the final version. The 26-year war left at least 100,000 people dead. There are still no confirmed figures for tens of thousands of civilian deaths in the last months of battle.
An earlier UN investigation said it was possible up to 40,000 people had been killed in the final five months alone. Others suggest the number of deaths could be even higher.
Former senior UN official Charles Petrie, who headed the internal review panel, said the “penultimate” draft the BBC has seen “very much reflects the findings of the panel.” He is now in New York to present the report to the UN Secretary-General.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan police are hunting for five prisoners who escaped last week during a prison riot in which 27 inmates died, officials said yesterday. Six other escaped prisoners were captured earlier.
Prison Commissioner Gamini Kulathunga said Welikada Prison in Colombo has returned to normal after the shootout last Friday in which 27 inmates were killed and 42 other people were wounded, including prisoners, police commandoes, army troops and a passer-by.


Mother of ‘nut rage’ Korean Air heiress questioned

Updated 3 min 31 sec ago
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Mother of ‘nut rage’ Korean Air heiress questioned

SEOUL: The scandal engulfing the Korean Air dynasty widened Monday as 69-year-old matriarch Lee Myung-hee faced police questioning over allegations she assaulted employees including household staff and construction workers renovating her home.
Lee’s two daughters, who held management positions at South Korea’s top carrier, became viral sensations for their own temper tantrums which were dubbed the “nut rage” and “water rage” scandals online.
“I am sorry for causing trouble,” a bespectacled Lee said with her head lowered as she walked past throngs of journalists before entering a Seoul police office.
Lee is accused of assaulting drivers and housekeepers from her personal staff as well as construction workers renovating her home and building a Korean Air-affiliated hotel.
The alleged abuses range from cursing and screaming at employees to kicking, slapping and even throwing a pair of scissors at them.
A video that emerged last month showed a woman, reportedly Lee, shoving a female construction worker and throwing a pile of documents on the ground.
Only last week, Lee’s daughter Cho Hyun-ah was summoned before immigration authorities over allegations she hired 10 Filipino maids to work at her family home on false pretenses, by claiming they were working for Korean Air.
It is illegal in South Korea to hire foreigners as domestic helpers.
Cho Hyun-ah made global headlines in 2014 for kicking a cabin crew chief off a Korean Air plane in a fury over being served macadamia nuts in a bag rather than a bowl. She later served a short prison sentence.
Earlier this year, her younger sister Cho Hyun-min was accused of throwing a drink at an advertising agency manager’s face in a fit of rage during a business meeting.
Authorities have since launched a flurry of official probes into the family’s reported abuse of workers, as well as smuggling and immigration law violations.
Their father, Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho, issued a public apology over the “immature” behavior of his offspring and removed his two daughters from their management roles.
But that has done little to placate employees. Hundreds of Korean Air workers have held weekly protests in Seoul demanding the ouster of the Cho clan from the country’s flag carrier — a rare act of defiance in the country that prizes loyalty among workers.
The current chairman’s late father founded the Hanjin Group — the South’s 14th-largest business group that runs logistics, transport and hotels businesses as well as Korean Air.