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Peiris US bound amid war crime calls in US Congress

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 May 2010 08:32 No Comment]

 Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister G.L.Peiris is to visit the United States next week for talks with the US government, and is expected to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during his stay in US, Colombo electronic media reported quoting External Affairs Ministry sources. The hurriedly arranged visit occurs in the wake of a week of concerted calls by several human rights organizations for independent investigations in Sri Lanka war crimes. Congressmen David Price (D-4th District North Carolina) and Danny K Davis (D-7th District Illinois) added their voices for expeditious action by the international community to probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka.

peiris_90x95 The decision to send Mr.Peiris to US is reported to have been taken by Colombo amidst calls by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and by the international community including the US for a war crimes probe in Sri Lanka, against the abuses alleged to have been committed during final stages of the war.

On Thursday the US House of Representatives had also called for a Human Rights probe.

PDF: Price’s Statement for Congressional Record

David Price (D-NC) North Carolina congressman Price, in a statement for Congressional Record, said: "It has also become apparent that the Sri Lankan military may have committed serious abuses during the fighting itself, including the indiscriminate shelling of areas designated as civilian safe zones. A growing number of respected human rights organizations – including the International Crisis Group, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch – have called for an independent international investigation into potential war crimes, yet the Sri Lankan government has yet to open any meaningful inquiry into the allegations.

Danny K. Davis (D-IL) "It is also past time for the international community to pursue real accountability, including a credible, independent investigation into the potential abuses committed during the 2009 conflict. I urge the Obama Administration to play a leading role in this effort by calling for an investigation at the United Nations and maintaining current restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance to Sri Lanka until the government has demonstrated credible progress toward meeting the international community’s demands," Price said.

Congressman Davis added, "May 19 commemorates the one-year anniversary of the end of the war and the remembrance of the many lives lost during the civil war in Sri Lanka. I call on the international community to pursue independent investigations into the alleged war crimes that occurred."

"The US would not be alone in calling for these investigations. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Union have already called for independent investigations," Congressman Davis said Thursday.

[Full Coverage]

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