Congressman Honda calls for war-crimes accountability

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 October 2011, 16:01 GMT]
Citing Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International's criticism of Sri Lanka's failed accountability through the locally constituted "Commission," and highlighting the atrocities described in the UN Panel's report, California Congressman Honda said in a US Congressional debate Thursday that a independent international mechanism is necessary to investigate Sri Lanka's war-crime allegations. However, the Congressman, appeared to be adhering to the soft foreign policy on Sri Lanka laid out by Asst. Secretary of State for South Asia, Robert Blake, by continuing to express faith in Government of Sri Lanka to "to provide for the peaceful well-being of all its people."

The "atrocities" referred to by the Congressman includes alleged massacre of up to 40,000 civilians by the Sri Lanka Security Forces referenced in the cited reports.

"In order to help achieve a lasting peace, the burdens of the civil war must be lifted and the root causes of the conflict must be addressed," Mr Honda said.

While Congressman commended Sri Lanka for the "commitment" to address the needs of ethnic groups, Sri Lanka observers said that the "ethnic groups" referred to by the Congressman will not welcome Congressman's insensitivity to the historical records of the past six decades where oppression of Tamils and discrimination of non-Sinhala groups were pervasive in the majoritarian governance in Sri Lanka.

Mr Honda concluded saying "[o]nly a trusted accountability mechanism will relieve the tensions of distruct hardened by war and lay a clean foundation for sustainable peace for Sri Lanka and all of its people."

 

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