Britain: UN must investigate Sri Lanka war crimes

[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 June 2011, 13:39 GMT]
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron called Wednesday in Parliament for a United Nations inquiry into war crimes committed during the final months of Sri Lanka’s war in 2009. Responding to a question by ruling Conservative Party MP Lee Scott following the previous night’s screening of Channel 4’s documentary, ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’, Mr. Cameron said the film refers to "some very worrying events … The Sri Lankan government does need this to be investigated and the UN needs this to be investigated."

"We need to make sure we get to the bottom of what happened and that lessons are learned," Mr. Cameron said.

He was responding to Mr. Scott’s question, which drew support from the rest of the house: “Would the Prime minister join me in calling for justice for the Tamil people and the people who lost their lives.”

Addressing Mr. Scott, Mr. Cameron said “I didn’t see the documentary, but I understand it was extremely powerful program and it refers to some very worrying events that are alleged to have taken place towards the end of [Sri Lanka’s] campaign.”

“What the [UK] government has said, along with other governments, is that the Sri Lankan government does need to this to be investigated and the UN needs this to be investigated and we need to make sure we get to the bottom of what happened, and that lessons are learnt.”

Earlier, Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said he was "shocked" by the "horrific scenes" in the film and that 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 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,” Mr. Burt said.

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

“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.”


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