|Washington backs inquiry on violence, suppression of freedoms under Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa regime
A US-led resolution calling for an international inquiry into allegations that 40,000 civilians were killed at the end of Sri Lanka's war against Tamil terrorists has been filed with the UN's top rights body, AFP reports.
In a draft resolution posted on the Human Rights Council's website, the United States endorses UN human rights chief Navi Pillay's call for an external investigation into alleged war crimes in the final stages of Sri Lanka's Tamil civil war in May 2009.
The draft welcomed Pillay's recommendation following her visit to Sri Lanka in August that there should be an “independent and credible investigation in the absence of a credible national process with tangible results.’’
The resolution noted progress in de-mining, reconstruction and re-settling war victims and effectively gave Sri Lanka another year to show results on accountability.
The draft was backed by Britain, Montenegro, Macedonia and Mauritius.
The US-led resolution asks Pillay to report back on progress with an oral submission to the UN Human Rights Council in March next year, and provide a written report by September 2015.
The draft also called on the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to investigate allegations of military excesses and expressed “serious concern'' over continuing reports of human rights violations five years after the end of the decades-long separatist war.
It said that “sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture and violations of the rights to freedom of expression'' were continuing in Sri Lanka. Several journalists have fled the country and others have been killed during Rajapaksa’s reign.
The UN rights council in Geneva is expected to vote on March 28 on the resolution, the third in as many years against Colombo.