US welcomes Sri Lanka rights probe panel

The US has welcomed the United Nations` announcement of experts, who will advise the team probing the alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the last months of civil war in 2009.

PTI| Updated: Jun 26, 2014, 06:56 AM IST

Washington: The US has welcomed the United Nations` announcement of experts, who will advise the team probing the alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the last months of civil war in 2009.

"The US welcomes UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay`s announcement of the distinguished experts who will advise the panel conducting the international investigation into the alleged human rights violations and related crimes in Sri Lanka, as called for in the March 2014 Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka," State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said yesterday.

Urging the Lankan government for its full cooperation with the Office of High Commissioner and investigation, Harf said: "We continue to urge the Government (of Sri Lanka) to fulfill its obligations to its own people and to take meaningful, concrete steps to address outstanding concerns related to democratic governance, human rights, reconciliation, justice, and accountability."
The United States stands ready to assist Sri Lanka in facilitating progress on these issues, she assured.

The UN has named three experts- Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel Laureate and former President of Finland, Silvia Cartwright, a former Governor-General and High Court judge of New Zealand, and Asma Jahangir, former President of Pakistan`s Supreme Court Bar Association and of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
The experts will work with the team investigating into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the last years of the armed conflict that ended in 2009.
Up to 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed at the end of the separatist war in 2009, rights groups and experts have said.