Sri Lanka to probe US war crimes allegations

October 26, 2009 (AFP) – The Sri Lankan government on Monday said it would investigate war crimes allegations made against its troops in a US State Department report. Among the claims detailed in the report was the accusation that Tiger leaders reached a surrender agreement with government forces but were then executed. Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said President Mahinda Rajapakse would shortly name a committee to look into incidents listed in the report that was submitted to the US Congress last week.

“The president decided that he will appoint a committee to probe the contents of the report,” the minister told reporters here. “After that, we will express our stand on this.”

However, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry has already dismissed the report as “unsubstantiated and devoid of corroborative evidence.”

Sri Lanka has been under international pressure to investigate allegations of human rights abuses and war crimes during the final stages of its battle against the Tamil Tiger rebels, who were defeated in May.