Sri Lanka slammed over aid workers` deaths

New York-based Human Rights Watch said the Sri Lankan government lacks will to uncover the truth.

London: A leading human rights group has condemned the Sri Lankan government over its lack of will to investigate the killings of 17 aid workers in 2006.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the government`s failure to bring the killers to justice highlights ``a lack of will to uncover the truth``.

"The Sri Lankan government is no closer to prosecuting those responsible," the BBC quoted James Ross, HRW`s legal and policy director, as saying.

"The Rajapaksa government is not just unwilling to uncover the truth, it appears afraid of the truth," Ross added.

HRW said that the government has a poor record of investigating serious human rights abuses, and ``impunity has been a persistent problem``.

"Despite a backlog of cases of enforced disappearances and unlawful killings going back two decades that run to the tens of thousands, there have been only a small number of prosecutions," HRW said in a statement.

"Past efforts to address violations by creating ad hoc mechanisms in Sri Lanka have produced few results, either in providing information or leading to prosecutions," it added.

There was widespread revulsion due to the murders of the 16 Tamils and a Muslim in the Muttur town during the civil war.

European monitors were convinced government troops were responsible for the massacre, but officials blamed Tamil Tiger rebels.

The government has since ruled out reopening an inquiry into the murders.


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