Sri Lankan president raps police over killings

March 11, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s president Sunday chided his top police officers over a new wave of “execution-style” killings and demanded immediate action to end a climate of terror. President Mahinda Rajapakse expected “responsible intervention” by the police to stem a wave of killings, abductions and extortion rackets, some of which have been linked to police and troops, his office said in a statement.

“The president expects a more responsible intervention from the police to prevent the current wave of crime, the violence, extortion, human rights violations,” the statement said, adding the killings were an attempt to discredit the government internationally.

At least 10 people have died in execution-style killings in the past two weeks, including five near the capital, Colombo, and another five in central Sri Lanka.

The statement came ahead of Monday’s meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, where escalating abuses in Sri Lanka are to be discussed.

Diplomatic sources here said Colombo was keen to avoid a resolution that could censure its rights record.

On Saturday the president gave senior police officers, including chief Victor Perera