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Sri Lankan ambassador promises accountability from war-crimes defendants
Sri Lanka will hold accountable every person accused of war crimes during its decades-long civil conflict, the island nation’s ambassador to the U.S. says.
The Obama administration and human-rights groups have questioned Sri Lanka’s commitment to accountability after its government released a 387-page report on the conflict that does not identify any war-crimes suspects.
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya said the suspects’ names are disclosed in eyewitness testimony that is posted on the website of the government-appointed commission that issued the report.
“There are no names [in the report], but there is a process to check accountability,” Mr. Wickramasuriya said in an interview with editors and reporters at The Washington Times.
“We believe that a home-grown solution is the best solution for Sri Lanka,” he said.
Human Rights Watch said the commission report “disregards the worst abuses by government forces, rehashes longstanding recommendations, and fails to advance accountability for victims of Sri Lanka’s civil armed conflict.”
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters last week that the report does not fully address all the allegations of human-rights violations that occurred in the last phase of the conflict.
“This leaves questions about accountability,” she said.
The government’s preliminary action plan does not provide the kind of “detailed road map that we had hoped to see for fulfilling all of the commission’s recommendations,” she added.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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