Britain warns Sri Lanka to act on war crimes by year’s end

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 15 June 2011, 10:47 GMT]
Speaking after Tuesday’s transmission of Channel 4’s documentary ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’, Foreign Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt said Sri Lanka must carry out an independent, thorough and credible investigation of war crimes by the year’s end or UK would will support the international community “in revisiting all options available to press the Sri Lankan Government to fulfil its obligations.”

The full text of the statement follows:

“I was shocked by the horrific scenes I saw in the documentary that was broadcast on 14 June.

“The recent UN Panel of Experts’ report, this documentary and previously authenticated Channel 4 footage, constitutes convincing evidence of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

“The whole of the international community will expect the Sri Lankans to give a serious and full response to this evidence.

Since the end of the conflict the UK has called for an independent, thorough and credible investigation of the allegations that war crimes were committed during the hostilities and the UK Government expects to see progress by the end of the year. I reiterated this message to the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister on 14 June.

“If the Sri Lankan government does not respond we will support the international community in revisiting all options available to press the Sri Lankan Government to fulfil its obligations.

“Unless this is done, Sri Lanka will not be able to move on, and the prospects for reconciliation between Sri Lanka’s communities will be curtailed. It is of the greatest importance that this does not happen.”


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