Sri Lanka urged by UK to co-operate with UN war crimes probe

EconomyNext – The United Kingdom has urged Sri Lanka to have a long-term political solution to its ethnic problem and co-operate with a United Nations war crimes inquiry into alleged abuses during the campaign against Tamil Tiger separatists.

Visiting UK Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire said he was delighted to be visiting Sri Lanka again so soon after the recent elections.

He said in a statement he welcomed the early commitments by President Maithripala Sirisena to lead a "more democratic and accountable government." 

Swire was it was heartening to see such a renewed desire to reconcile communities and seek a long-term peace for Sri Lanka, whose 30-year war by the Tigers for a separate state in the north and east ended in 2009. 

"This will need to include the establishment of a long-term political settlement in the North, and credible processes for reconciliation and accountability to tackle the issues that remain following Sri Lanka’s long conflict."

Swire said the UK hopes that the new Sri Lankan government will work together with the international community at the UN Human Rights Council, and will co-operate with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ investigation into alleged war crimes during the final stage of the Sri Lankan conflict.

The UN inquiry into alleged war crimes is to present its findings at the UN Human Rights Council in March.

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