US calls on Sri Lanka to investigate rights abuses

[JURIST] US Ambassador Stephen Rapp [official profile] called Sunday on Sri Lanka to investigate [press release] rights abuses by security forces during its civil war [JURIST news archive] with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) [CFR backgrounder]. After visiting Sri Lanka on a fact-finding mission, Rapp heard eyewitness accounts of serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law. Rapp affirmed that the US remains committed to working with Sri Lanka but called upon the government to "seek the truth through independent and credible investigations, and where relevant, have prosecutions."

The UN and other international human rights groups have urged Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes committed during its civil war with the LTTE. In November, UK Prime Minister David Cameron demanded [JURIST report] that the Sri Lankan government conduct its own investigation into war crime allegations. In September, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on [JURIST report] Sri Lanka to improve its human rights record. In May, Human Rights Watch said that there has been no progress [JURIST report] regarding respect for basic rights and liberties in the four years since the end of the country's civil war.

 

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