Sri Lanka domestic human rights probe starts in June

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said a domestic inquiry into allegations of human rights abuses by government troops in the war against Tamil Tiger separatists would begin in June.

Sirisena told heads of media institutions at a meeting Wednesday morning that the government aims to have the domestic mechanism operating by September when the United Nations Human Rights Council next meets.

At that meeting the UNHCR is scheduled to hear a report by a UN committee that probed allegations of human rights violations in Sri Lanka in the military campaign that ended with the defeat of the Tigers in 2009.

That report was scheduled to have been put before the HRC in March but was put off after the regime change in Sri Lanka.

Sirisena defeated former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January presidential poll.

Rajapaksa had rejected calls for a probe into the allegations but Sirisena’s new administration promised a ‘robust’ domestic inquiry.

Sirisena said his government is committed to protecting soldiers who fought the war and were not willing to let foreigners probe allegations against them.

But he also said that if any human rights abuses had occurred and Sri Lankan laws broken, action would be taken against those responsible under Sri Lankan law.
Sirisena said Sri Lanka was ready to get guidance from the UN in the domestic inquiry.

 

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