Sri Lanka govt berated over aid workers’ deaths

August 4, 2009 (AFP) – The New York-based group Human Rights Watch on Tuesday pressed for an international probe into the killings in Sri Lanka of 17 local employees of a French charity three years ago. HRW marked the anniversary of the execution-style murders of the Action Against Hunger (ACF) workers in Sri Lanka’s northeastern town of Muttur with a scathing attack on the country’s leaders.

“Since the ACF massacre, the (President Mahinda) Rajapakse government has put on an elaborate song and dance to bedazzle the international community into believing justice is being done,” said HRW director James Ross.

“It’s time the UN and concerned governments say ‘the show is over’ and put into place a serious international inquiry.”

ACF itself has demanded an international investigation after a government probe failed to identify any suspects.

The call came last month after a Sri Lankan investigation cleared the military of killing the 17 employees of the charity, but ordered more compensation for the families of the victims.

Thirteen men and four women who worked on water sanitation and farm projects for ACF were found shot dead in an area where government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels