UK sponsors U.N. probe vote into Sri Lanka 'war crimes'
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
LONDON - The UK has called for an "international and independent" investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka ahead of a U.N. vote on the issue.
Prime Minister David Cameron told the UK parliament on Wednesday that "President [Mahinda] Rajapaksa has failed to address the issue of the past properly."
He added that the U.N. was to vote on a "UK-sponsored resolution for an international and independent investigation into alleged war crimes."
The Conservative Party leader said that at the European Council and Nuclear Security Summit events this week that the UK had "secured the full backing of all EU member states."
Cameron added: "At The Hague I urged leaders from countries as diverse as South Korea, Kazakhstan, Gabon and Japan to support this crucial resolution."
It is alleged that in the final months of the 26-year conflict between the Sri Lankan military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the government’s army committed war crimes, including attacks on civilians and summary executions. The Tamil Tigers rebel group had been fighting for an independent Tamil state since 1983 and controlled parts of the north and east of the country.
In 2009, the conflict ended with a crushing defeat for the Tigers, but human rights organizations accused both sides of putting civilians at risk. It is alleged that the death toll in the final five months of the conflict was as high as 20,000.
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