June 29, Washington, D.C.: The United States Tuesday urged the Sri Lankan government to take prompt measures to investigate alleged violations of international human rights law or else face the growing demand from the international community to intimate an independent investigation.
Issuing a press release in response to a question taken on Monday on the U.S. view regarding accountability in Sri Lanka, the State Department reiterated the U.S. government’s call for a credible investigation into the accountability of Sri Lankan government during the last phase of the war against the Tamil Tiger terrorists.
“The United States supports a full, credible, and independent investigation of alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law and accountability for such violations,” the State Department said in the statement.
The State Department pointed out that the Sri Lankan authorities have primary responsibility to ensure that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law are held accountable.
However, if the state is unable or unwilling to meet its obligations, then international accountability mechanisms can become appropriate, the U.S. said.
“We continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to quickly demonstrate that it is able and willing to meet these obligations as it seeks reconciliation,” the statement stressed expecting the government to take immediate measures to address the issue.
“We hope the Sri Lankans will themselves do this, but if they do not, there will be growing pressure from the international community to examine other options,” the U.S. warned.
The Sri Lankan government has rejected the report of the United Nations Panel of Experts that said there were credible evidence of war crimes committed by both the government troops and the LTTE terrorists.
Following the broadcasting of a documentary on Sri Lanka’s war earlier this month by the Channel 4 TV, the United Kingdom also pressed Sri Lanka to investigate the alleged war crimes or face an international inquiry.
Sri Lanka has consistently maintained that it did not commit war crimes during the military operation that defeated the LTTE terrorists in May 2009 ending three-decade long terrorism in the country.
However, the government’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed to probe the events during the last seven years of war has said that it will investigate the incidents portrayed in the Channel 4 video and if found any violations, it will take remedial measures by way of legal sanctions.