U.S. forfeits international responsibility to Sri Lankan state

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 October 2009, 10:59 GMT]
"The United States looks to the Government of Sri Lanka to identify an appropriate and credible mechanism and initiate a process for accountability," read a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Colombo on Thursday, announcing that U.S. Department of State delivered a Congressional report Wednesday detailing the incidents that allegedly occurred during the final months of the war in Vanni that may constitute violations of international humanitarian law or crimes against humanity. While Eezham Tamils are expecting justice from international mechanisms on the genocidal war carried out by the Sri Lankan state against the Tamil nation, the U.S. statement attempts to make Colombo responsible for initiating a process for accountability within the anti-Tamil Sri Lankan system itself, commented Tamil circles blaming the statement as attempting to abet Colombo’s agenda of structural genocide.

"Passing the responsibility of creating a mechanism for accountability, in the name of 'right to security of a state', into the hands of the Sri Lankan state which is the party to the war crime is an international injustice," commented the Tamil circles adding that the international community, including the U.S., was responsible for the plight of the Eezham Tamils and the elimination of their de-facto state.

The real 'reconciliation' comes only when the national question is internationally addressed and when appropriate gestures to this effect come from the IC, the Tamil circles further commented.

Full text of the statement by the U.S. Embassy in Colombo follows:

U.S. Embassy Statement on Report to the U.S. Congress

Colombo, October 22, 2009: The United States Department of State delivered to Congressional Appropriations Committee staff yesterday a report detailing incidents that allegedly occurred during the final months of the conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the terrorist organization LTTE that may constitute violations of international humanitarian law or crimes against humanity and related harms. The Department of State prepared the report pursuant to a Congressional request and also provided a copy to the Sri Lankan Embassy. 

The report compiles alleged incidents, as reported by a wide range of primary and secondary sources, involving both sides in the conflict. It does not reach any legal or factual conclusions. Information concerning the majority of incidents cited in this report originated in first-hand accounts communicated by persons from within the government-declared No Fire Zones and locations close to the fighting. 

The United States recognizes a state’s inherent right to defend itself from armed attacks, including those by non-state actors, such as a terrorist group like the LTTE. The United States also expects states and non-state actors to comply with their international legal obligations, including the obligation to protect civilians in armed conflict. 

Accountability is an essential component of national reconciliation. The United States looks to the Government of Sri Lanka to identify an appropriate and credible mechanism and initiate a process for accountability. 


Chronology:


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