Sri Lanka to investigate war crimes; appoints foreign experts

 

Sri Lanka’s president has extended the terms of a commission investigating missing people and possible war crimes in the country’s 26-year civil war, bringing in foreign experts for the first time to advise on the inquiry, the government said on Thursday.

 

Mahinda Rajapaksa‘s move, contained in a document issued this week and obtained by Reuters on Thursday, comes as international pressure intensifies on Sri Lanka to investigate the final stages of the war in 2009 to crush ethnic minority Tamil separatists.

 

Three legal experts – two Britons and a U.S. national – were appointed as part of an international advisory panel linked to the presidential commission set up last year to conduct the inquiry.

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WikiLeaks: President Rajapaksa’s American Report Card

“Rajapaksa has a no better than average record for politicians when it comes to delivering on his campaign rhetoric. While the long-running ethnic conflict is no closer to resolution now than when he took office, the Tamil Tigers bear a large share of the blame for the resumption of hostilities. The focus on the violence has taken up most of the national debate – and taken some heat off the President to perform on his other promises. Still, Rajapaksa could do more to address Tamil concerns, for example, by promoting dual-language instruction in schools according to the commitment he made in Mahinda Chintana.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

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Safety of 31 Tamil prisoners feared after “rescue operation” in Sri Lanka

Amid rising concern over the safety and whereabouts of 31 Tamil prisoners, the prison in Vavuniya has been temporarily shut down after heavily armed army and elite police force personnel jointly carried out a violent operation to rescue three prison guards from these prison inmates.

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UN internal investigation draws parallel to that of Sri Lanka

Original Post | Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka | June 23 2012

The United Nations’ much delayed internal review of its own role and actions during the war in Sri Lanka and aftermath has given raise to many questions than it answers, as the review panel has not only deliberately left out key members of the UN international staff but also ignored crucial issues such as the LTTE white flag surrender fiasco and actual civilian death toll.

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