Launch war crime probe against Lankan Prez: Amnesty to US

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is in the US on a surprise visit.

Washington: With Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the US on a visit, rights group Amnesty International has urged the Obama administration to launch an investigation into allegations of war crimes against him.

Rajapaksa, who is in the country on a surprise visit, is expected to stay in the US for a few days. His visit comes as a Panel of Experts appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is working on a report advising him on accountability issues in Sri Lanka.

"The President left the country this morning on a private visit to the US," the Media Director General of the President`s office, Bandula Jayasekara had told local media in Colombo yesterday.

"The United States has an obligation under international law to investigate and prosecute people who perpetrated war crimes and grave human rights violations such as extrajudicial executions, torture and enforced disappearances," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International`s Asia-Pacific director.

"Thousands of victims in Sri Lanka demand accountability for the abuses they`ve suffered from the Sri Lankan security forces as well as armed groups such as the LTTE," Zarifi said.

Rights groups have accused both the Sri Lankan military and the separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas of war crimes in the final months of their decades-long conflict that ended in 2009.


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