Aussie Status

SYDNEY, October 17, 2011 (AFP) – Australian police were Monday examining a war crimes dossier alleging Sri Lankan authorities bombed and shelled civilians during the country’s civil war, which ended in 2009. Prepared by the International Commission of Jurists’ Australian chapter, the brief contains testimony from Sri Lankans now living in Australia that they were attacked by government forces during the conflict.

“The substance… is eyewitness evidence which shows the bombing and shelling of civilians, in particular in the no-fly zones, and a whole series of attacks on civilians, contrary to the stance taken by the Sri Lankan government that, in effect, they were not targeted,” said ICJ Australia president John Dowd.

“Initially they said there was no loss of civilian life in the last few months (of the conflict), which is clearly nonsense,” he added.

The evidence was initially collected for an independent war crimes tribunal but because one had not been established Dowd said the ICJ decided to pass it to Australian police “who have the power to investigate such matters.”

Police confirmed they had received the submission and were reviewing it.

“Therefore it is not appropriate to comm