Sri Lanka war: US urged to press for international probe

WASHINGTON, August 10, 2010 (AFP) – A group of US lawmakers is urging the Obama administration to push for an independent international investigation into alleged war crimes that occurred during Sri Lanka’s civil war. In a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the members of Congress called for such a probe saying panels set up by the Sri Lankan government to probe the allegations “lacked the needed credibility.”

These panels have “also delayed criminal investigations and in several instances members of these commissions have resigned in protest at the government’s interference,” the letter said, citing Amnesty International.

The letter dated August 9 and obtained Tuesday was signed by some 57 members of the US House of Representatives.

“There is mounting evidence that suggests both parties in the conflict committed severe human rights violations during the conflict,” it said.

In May last year, capping a four-decade civil war, Sri Lankan government troops finally defeated the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam.

“We urge you to call for a robust and independent international investigation that would finally clarify the events that occurred during the conflict