Rights group calls for Sri Lanka monitors

May 11, 2007 (AFP) – Human Rights Watch on Friday renewed a call for independent foreign monitoring of human rights in Sri Lanka, where hundreds of people have been killed by unidentified gunmen. The New York-based watchdog said international monitors should be able to report publicly on the abuses by Tamil Tiger guerrillas, a breakaway faction known as the Karuna group and the Sri Lankan security forces.

The monitoring mission should be under the United Nations, HRW’s Asia Director Brad Adams said.

Sri Lanka has already rejected any suggestion of allowing foreign human rights monitors, but the Human Rights Watch demand came as a top US diplomat accused Sri Lanka of going back on promises to protect its own people.

More than 700 people are reported to have “disappeared” in the past year in Sri Lanka, and at least 60,000 people have been killed in the island’s Tamil separatist conflict led by the LTTE since 1972.

“We think the US and other influential governments, particularly India, European Union (member states), Norway and Japan, should work with the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) to deploy an international human rights monitoring missio