Senators urge US to take lead role in Sri Lanka investigations
[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 November 2011, 15:09 GMT]
In a letter to United States Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, three senior Senators have called for "United States to openly take the lead in pressing for an independent international commission, either by the UN Human Rights Council or under the [UN's] Secretary General's own authority," if Sri Lanka fails to take "credible steps to investigate and hold perpetrators accountable for the array of allegations documented in the UN Panel of Experts report." Senators also expressed concern that "since the end of the war the [Sri Lanka] military has supplanted or interferes in civil administration in the North, and that more than thousand detainees with suspected LTTE links, names withheld, reportedly remain without charge, without access to Red Cross or family."
Senator Robert Casey
Senator Benjamin Cardin
Senator Patrick Leahy
Vermont Senator and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy, Pennsylvania Senator and Chairman - Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs of the Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Casey,Maryland Senator and Chairman of the subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection of the Foreign Relations Committee, Benjamin Cardin, jointly wrote the letter to Secretary Clinton.
The letter referred to earlier statements by Ambassador Susan Rice earlier stand on the LLRC that the commission "should fully investigate serious allegations of violations," and also the statement from the State Department which expressed it dismay that "LLRC did not possess the requisite level of "independence and impartiality."
Meanwhile, according to local reports, the LLRC has handed over the report to Sri Lanka's President and unofficial time lines have been publicized on the procedures for 'releasing' the report.
While Colombo is busy ochestrating its next round of theatrics using the LLRC report to buy further time to postpone answering war-crime charges, the question asked by Tamil diaspora circles is whether the report will provide ammunition to the big-power abettors of the genocide to further prolong the agony of the Tamils.