Panel urges UN to act on Sri Lanka killings

Sept 18, 2007 (AFP) – The Asian Human Rights Commission asked the United Nations Tuesday to intervene to end extra-judicial killings in Sri Lanka, where it said at least 50 people were killed in the last month alone. It accused the Sri Lankan government of failing to prevent a wave of killings allegedly carried out by state security forces and intelligence units, and called for a rights-monitoring committee to be established in Sri Lanka.

The AHRC said the UN Human Rights Council should urgently and directly take action, “given the unwillingness and inability by the Sri Lankan government to guarantee the right to life and justice.”

The statement came four days after Sri Lanka said it was ready to accept foreign scrutiny of its human rights record to head off formal UN criticism over a spate of killings and disappearances.

The war-torn island’s government, locked in a decades-old war with Tamil Tiger separatists, has previously argued that criticism of authorities in Colombo would play into the hands of rebel “terrorists.”

The Human Rights Council is currently discussing Sri Lanka’s rights record in Geneva, and diplomatic sources say that European Union member states have been considering a resoluti