A delegation of European Union parliamentarians visiting Sri Lanka requested Colombo to “ensure accountability in the face of what the UN calls "credible allegations" of up to 40,000 civilians killed in the final battles in 2009” the AFP reported on Friday. "On the physical side in terms of roads and reconstruction, the progress is very, very visible, but a lot more needs to be done on political issues," the AFQ quoted the delegation head, UK’s Jean Lambert. Ms Lambert had also said that the EU wanted Sri Lanka “to implement recommendations of its own domestic war probe which called for independent investigations into alleged rights abuses.” The “domestic war probe” by the genocide-accused Sri Lankan government has been condemned as a farce by many Tamil political activists.
Extracts from the AFP report follows:
"On issues around accountability, we need to see more progress," the delegation head, Britain’s Jean Lambert, told reporters in Colombo.
She said they wanted Sri Lanka to implement recommendations of its own domestic war probe which called for independent investigations into alleged rights abuses.
On the physical side in terms of roads and reconstruction, the progress is very, very visible, but a lot more needs to be done on political issues," she said.
She added however that the six-member team noticed that Sri Lankan security forces had been deployed for road construction and other work that would normally be carried out by civilians.
"We have raised concerns that the military is becoming a part of everyday life of society," Lambert said, adding that they believed troops were having an unfair advantage over civilian small businesses.
Lambert said they also raised concerns about "disappearances" and the fate of thousands of people missing following the end of the conflict.
“No matter how long after the conflict, people still want to know what happened to their loved ones,” she said.