HRW slams Sri Lankan war probe

A US-based rights watchdog has slammed a recent Sri Lankan probe on war crimes on the conflict with the LTTE.

New York: A US-based rights watchdog has
slammed a recent Sri Lankan probe on war crimes on the
conflict with the LTTE, saying it fails to fix accountability
and "disregards" the "worst abuse" by government forces.

"The serious shortcomings of the 388-page report, which
was posted on a government website on December 16, 2011,
highlight the need for an international investigative
mechanism into the conflict as recommended by the United
Nations Secretary-General`s Panel of Experts in April,"
Human Rights Watch has said.

"The report of the Sri Lankan government`s Lessons Learnt
and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) disregards the worst
abuses by government forces, rehashes longstanding
recommendations, and fails to advance accountability for
victims of Sri Lanka`s civil armed conflict," it said.

The LLRC report was long awaited, but provided little new
information or recommendations on accountability that could
not have already been put into effect by the government, Human
Rights Watch said.

While the UN Panel of Experts asked for the establishment
of an independent international mechanism to conduct
investigations into the alleged violations, "the LLRC report
provides no realistic pathway for holding accountable military
and government officials implicated in serious abuses."

"Governments and UN bodies have held back for the past 18
months to allow the Sri Lankan commission to make progress on
accountability," Asia director at Human Rights Watch Brad
Adams, said.

"The commission`s failure to provide a road map for
investigating and prosecuting wartime perpetrators shows the
dire need for an independent, international commission."

The LLRC`s findings, largely exonerating government
forces for laws-of-war violations, stand in stark contrast to
those by the UN Panel of Experts, the UN special envoy on
extra judicial executions, and other independent

The Sri Lankan war commission had cleared the nation`s
army of deliberately targetting civilians in the final stages
of the deadly war against the LTTE, though conceding that some
isolated incidents could have occurred.

The LLRC report which was tabled in parliament on
December 16 ruled out allegations that army intentionally
targeted civilians towards the end of the conflict.

Though the commission cleared the military it recommends
that investigations be carried out if there was evidence of
isolated cases of excesses.