April 20, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s main opposition party on Wednesday urged the government to respond to United Nations allegations of war crimes by launching an immediate official investigation. Fonseka quit the army and challenged Rajapakse at January 2010 presidential elections, but after losing the election he was arrested and jailed for 30 months. He faces several court cases. The United National Party (UNP) demanded action over leaked parts of a UN report into alleged atrocities committed by Sri Lankan soldiers as the civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels came to an end in 2009.
The report, commissioned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, is to be officially released this week.
Details printed in a Sri Lankan newspaper at the weekend said there were “credible” allegations that government forces committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the final push to secure victory over the rebels.
“Sri Lanka’s image has been tarnished by this report. The only way to redeem ourselves as a country is to go into the allegations,” UNP spokesman Lakshman Kiriella told reporters in Colombo.
“We ask the government to start an immediate internal investigation.”