Sri Lanka has ‘nothing to hide’ over rights: president

COLOMBO, November 14, 2013 (AFP) – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said Thursday that he was ready to defend his country against allegations of war crimes at this week’s Commonwealth summit, saying it had “nothing to hide”. The 67-year-old leader said his administration deserved credit for managing to bring an end to the conflict between minority ethnic Tamils and the majority Sinhalese which erupted four decades ago.

“People were getting killed for 30 years, at least after 2009 we have stopped it.

“There is no killing in Sri Lanka today.”

At least 100,000 people lost their lives in the conflict which was one of the longest-running and bloodiest in Asia.

As well as the allegations against government forces, Tamil Tiger rebels — who were known for their trademark suicide bombings — are also accused of killing thousands of people. “We are very open, we have nothing to hide,” Rajapakse told reporters on the eve of the 53-member group’s summit, which is set to be dominated by allegations of abuses during the final stages of Sri Lanka’s 37-year ethnic conflict.

Rajapakse said he was ready to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss allegations that up to 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians w