British Minister repeats call for Sri Lankan government to investigate war crime allegations

July 10, Colombo: Visiting Secretary of State for Defense of the United Kingdom and British Conservative Party parliamentarian Dr. Liam Fox has reiterated Britain’s call for the Sri Lankan government to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the government troops during the last phase of the war against Tamil Tiger rebels.

The British High Commission in Colombo has said that Dr. Fox had pushed Sri Lanka to probe the charges of deliberate bombing of civilians and unlawful killings, the AFP news agency reported.

“Allegations of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by both sides at the end of the conflict (must) be taken seriously,” the AFP quoted the Defence Minister Fox.

The British Defence Minister who arrived in Sri Lanka Friday to deliver the annual Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture in memory of the Sri Lankan foreign minister who was assassinated by the LTTE in 2005, has said that the allegations must be “fully investigated and any individuals responsible brought fully to account”.

“A genuine peace requires… freedom from fear, freedom of expression including a free press and broadcast media and the freedom to dissent within the law,” he has added.

Dr. Fox met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris yesterday to discuss the post-war developments in the country including concerns raised in Britain over alleged human rights allegations.

He has stressed the importance of Sri Lanka addressing the issues to achieve genuine national reconciliation after the suffering due to the long drawn-out war.

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