Sri Lanka Has No Faith in International Probe for Tamil Mass killing

Colombo, 12 April-2014(IANS): The Sri Lankan government Saturday said it has no faith in an international investigation into the alleged human rights abuses occurred during the civil war in the country.

Sri Lanka Has No Faith in International Probe for Tamil Mass killing

Image credit: PTI FILE PHOTO

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s special envoy on human rights and Government Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that Sri Lanka feels an international investigation will lack credibility and will not be independent, Xinhua reported.

Samarasinghe was speaking to reporters after meeting some of the island’s leading Buddhist monks and briefing them on the latest developments in the country.

The UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last month passed a resolution, calling for an international investigation in Sri Lanka over allegations that human rights abuses were committed during the war between Tamil Tiger rebels and the army.

Human Rights Council members also called on Sri Lanka to reduce the number of troops in the former war zones in the north in order to restore normalcy, five years after the war ended.

Samarasinghe said the decision to maintain troops on the ground in the North was justified following a clash between three former rebels and the army in the northern Vavuniya town.

A most wanted rebel member identified as Gobi and two others were killed following a confrontation with the army Thursday.

The Sri Lankan army and the Tamil Tiger rebels fought a 30-year civil war before the rebels were defeated in May 2009.

Human rights groups and some Western countries pushed for an investigation into alleged war crimes committed during the final stages of the war.

Sri Lanka, however, rejected an international probe and instead appointed a local commission to probe the allegations.

The UNHRC had last month adopted the US-sponsored resolution which claimed that the domestic investigations fell short of expectations.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged the government to cooperate with an international probe.

However, Sri Lanka’s strongest allies China and Russia refused to back Pillay’s call while India also felt an international probe was unacceptable.