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UK MP group calls for international inquiry into Sri Lanka’s war-crimes

[TamilNet, Friday, 18 March 2011 09:19 No Comment]

Lee Scott MP, Ilford North, Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils (APPGT), in a statement issued today, said "[n]othing but an independent international enquiry to alleged war crimes will satisfy the international community; Sri Lanka must be ready to face economic sanctions if it fails to meet internationally accepted standards," and added "the Tamil people have been waiting far too long for justice. The situation has worsened not only for Tamil people, but also Sinhala academics, journalists, and human rights activists under President Rajapaksa’s rule in Sri Lanka…it is important that Britain act now…."

Full text of the release follows:

Statement from APPGT

Lee Scott, MP., Ilford North, UK The US Senate recently passed a resolution urging an international investigation of war crimes allegations. Robert O’Blake, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, said the US wanted to see a proper investigation into abuses by both sides in the conflict and was giving the Sri Lankan commission the chance to do so. It was hoped that the Sri Lankans would do this themselves; but if they are not willing to take the accountability issue seriously, then there will be pressure from the international community to look at some kind of international option.

Lee Scott MP, Ilford North, Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group, referring to the recent comments by Robert O’Blake said “ Nothing but an independent international enquiry to alleged war crimes will satisfy the international community; Sri Lanka must be ready to face economic sanctions if it fails to meet internationally accepted standards”.

Lee Scott, Conservative MP for Ilford North, who has previously expressed his serious concerns about the humanitarian and human rights situation in Sri Lanka continued “The Tamil people have been waiting far too long for justice. The situation has worsened not only for Tamil people, but also Sinhala academics, journalists, and human rights activists under President Rajapaksa’s rule in Sri Lanka. Respected international organisations such as Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group wanted Governments such as the UK and USA to take firm action. Our Prime Minister was the first European Leader to publicly acknowledge the “wrong choices” that we (Britain) had made in the interest of stability and trade. The developments in postwar Sri Lanka clearly shows that it is slipping into an autocratic state. It is important that Britain act now, along with our European partners, the USA and India. The APPGt is very aware of this situation and will continue to do their utmost to bring this to international attention”.

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