EU urges Sri Lanka to cooperate with UN war probe

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

BRUSSELS, July 1, 2010 (AFP) – The European Union urged Sri Lanka’s government on Thursday to cooperate with a UN panel probing alleged war crimes during the country’s civil war. “If the EU doesn’t want to give it, let them keep it. I don’t want it. We have gone and explained what we have done.”

The UN has said that at least 7,000 ethnic Tamil civilians were killed in the first four months of 2009. The UN estimates that up to 100,000 people died in the fighting between 1972 and May last year. “The European Union encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to cooperate fully, including through the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission appointed by President Rajapakse, with the members of the Panel, in the interest of all concerned,” said EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton.

“The European Union hopes that these initiatives can contribute to an inclusive and sustainable political solution addressing the legitimate concerns of all the communities on the island,” she said in a statement.

President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government has ignored calls to investigate allegations that thousands of civilians were killed along with surrendering rebels during the final month