Sri Lanka slammed by Amnesty over ‘flawed’ war probe

Sri Lankan Police forming a human chain in parliament to protect the Speaker and enable a vote.

September 7, 2011 (AFP) – Amnesty International on Wednesday said Sri Lanka’s inquiry into its military victory over Tamil rebels was “flawed at every level” and no substitute for an international war crimes investigation. The human rights watchdog issued a 69-page report slamming the work of the government’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) ahead of next week’s meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, expected to discuss Sri Lanka.

The report cited eyewitness testimony and information from aid workers suggesting that at least 10,000 civilians were killed in the final military offensive which crushed the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009.

It accused the Sri Lankan army of shelling areas it knew to be densely populated by civilians, and also condemned the rebels for using non-combatants as a human shield.

The report titled “When will they get justice?”, said the LLRC, set up by the Sri Lankan government to review the final stages of the offensive, was “flawed at every level: in mandate, composition and practice”.

Highlighting the number of ex-government officials on the commission, Amnesty said it had failed to investigate evidence of systematic violations, including illega