Sri Lanka can set up war crimes inquiry by March 2014: William Hague
After British Prime Minister gave Sri Lankan government time till March Next year to start an inquiry into the war crimes allegations, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed belief that the it was possible for the South Asian nation to set up an investigation within deadline.
Zee Media Bureau
Colombo: After British Prime Minister gave Sri Lankan government time till March Next year to start an inquiry into the war crimes allegations, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed belief that the it was possible for the South Asian nation to set up an investigation within deadline.
According to a BBC report that cited Colombo`s Sunday Times, Hague said that the Sri Lankan government inquiry into the rights abuses "would make a big difference".
Speaking on the sidelines of 22nd CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) summit in Colombo, Hague further told the Colombo newspaper that it was possible for the Sri Lankan government to establish an inquiry before next March "to start and show the world they are doing that", reported the BBC.
Hague`s comments came after British Prime Minister David Cameron talked tough to Sri Lanka, calling for an inquiry by March next year or face an international probe by the UN.
Cameron is the first foreign head of State to travel to the war-ravaged province of Jaffna.
“Let me make it very clear that if that investigation is not completed by March, then I am going to use our position on the UNHRC to work with its Commissioner to call for a full, credible and independent international inquiry,” Cameron said after meeting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
However, Rajapaksa said that no inquiry will be conducted under any pressure and that the country will take its own time to investigate into the allegations.
Also, in a retort directed at British human rights record, Rajapaksa said that `people in glass houses shouldn`t throw stones`.
He was referring to the Bloody Sunday, when 13 civilians were shot dead in Northern Ireland by the British army in 1972, reported the BBC.
Speaking on the second day of Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa sought to hit back at the UK, saying, that British investigations into the Bloody Sunday took 40 years to emerge.
Rajapaksa also sought to justify the government`s role saying, that the end of the war against LTTE had brought stability and peace to Sri Lanka.
"Every day for the last 30 years, people were dying... so we have stopped it", he said.
"We will take our time and we will investigate into 30 years of war," he added.
Sri Lanka has been facing allegations of war crimes ranging from rape, torture, forced disappearances, etc committed during the last phase of the war in 2009.