US lawmakers urge Sri Lanka rights probe
Washington: Dozens of US lawmakers urged a global probe into alleged rights violations by Sri Lanka in the last stages of its civil war, saying Colombo`s own efforts do not ensure accountability.
In letters to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 17 senators and 30 members of the House of Representatives called for the United States to seek a United Nations role investigating last year`s finale of the Tamil Tiger insurgency.
"We strongly believe that any conclusions reached by the Sri Lankan government`s commissions must be verified by a parallel international mechanism" backed by the United Nations, the senators wrote yesterday.
"Without a means of verification, any findings will lack credibility and true accountability," said the letter, led by Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina.
The senators said that accountability was essential to ensuring reconciliation and warned that history is "littered with failed attempts to bring peace”.
"We do not want Sri Lanka to be another one of those failed steps," they wrote.
In a separate letter, the House members urged the United States to use its presidency of the UN Security Council this month to push forward "a credible and effective process for achieving accountability" in Sri Lanka.
The House letter was led by Representatives Danny Davis and Jan Schakowsky, both Democrats from the Chicago area that has a sizable Tamil community.
Sri Lanka last year killed the top leadership of the Tamil Tigers, ending their nearly four-decade campaign for a separate homeland in which the rebels were known for their devastating suicide bombings.
The United Nations has raised concerns about human rights toward the end of the war. The world body has reported that at least 7,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed in the final months of fighting.
Sri Lanka`s government has strongly rejected any UN or independent probe of war crime allegations and says no civilians were killed in the battle against the rebels.
President Barack Obama`s administration has urged Sri Lanka to ensure accountability and to promote reconciliation but has stopped short of supporting an international probe.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Pak forces will teach Zee News what real surgical strike is: Hafiz Saeed
- Indian Army targets terror camps across LoC; Pak PM Sharif condemns
- 7 terror camps destroyed by Indian Army in surgical strikes
- DNA: Indian Army carries out surgical strikes across LoC
- Indian Army surgical strike: Pak rejects claim, says 2 soldiers killed
- Hafiz Saeed threatens Zee News, says Pak forces will teach what real surgical strikes are
- Pak postpones SAARC Summit after five member states pull out of conference: As it happened
- Surgical strikes across LoC in Pakistan were filmed, videos kept as proof
- India's surgical strikes: Pakistan buries slain terrorists to hide evidence, asks Masood Azhar to go mum
- Who is Chandu Babulal Chauhan and why India wants to bring him back from Pakistan - Read