Renowned human rights and peace activist's book on war crimes tribunal launched in Kendal (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Renowned human rights and peace activist's book on war crimes tribunal launched in Kendal
A STUDY of the tribunal which examined war crimes in the former Yugoslavia has been published by a renowned South Lakes-based human rights expert.
Luckshan Abeysuriya, of Grange-over-Sands was given privileged access to The Hague to research his book - The UN War Crimes Tribunal in Former Yugoslavia.
It was officially launched today at the Shakespeare Centre in Kendal.
Sri Lankan-born Mr Abeysuriya, a former Amnesty International-UK board member, said the book - his second on the Balkans conflict - was inspired by his long-standing commitment to international justice.
His particular interest in the former Yugoslavia was sparked in 1957 when the former Yugoslavian leader Marshal Tito visited Sri Lanka.
"I was politics and economics student at Ceylon University when Tito came," said Mr Abeysuriya. "I had the privilege of meeting him and was very impressed.
"For 40 years he created stability in Yugoslavia and it was only after his death and the break-up of the Soviet Union occurred that the country fell apart."
Mr Abeysuriya said he became intrigued why all the 'hatred and killing was happening' between people who had previously been friendly neighbours.
Mr Abeysuriya, who is a board member and trustee of the United Nations Association, said he was also aware of how badly the UN fared in during the Balkans conflict and it was left to NATO to finally bring an end to the conflict.
"It failed because of UN politics," said Mr Abeysuriya.
At today's launch of his book, speakers included former Kendal mayor and Fabian Society member John Bateson; Dr Barbara Tongue, of Kendal Friends' Society; and Vijay Mehta, of Uniting for Peace London.