'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The United States is increasing pressure on Sri Lanka to investigate the deaths of thousands of civilians at the end of its civil war. Human rights groups contend a Sri Lankan government commission has demonstrated no intent of doing it.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reportedly on a personal visit to the U.S., prompting calls from an international human rights group that he be investigated for his alleged role in torture and war crimes.
The Sri Lankan government has appointed a senior army officer accused of war crimes in the conflict with Tamil rebels as its deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.
"There are no examples we know of a regime undertaking wholesale investigations of its own troops or senior officials for war crimes while that regime or government remained in power. In Sri Lanka this is further complicated by the fact that responsibility for many of the alleged crimes rests with the country's senior civilian and military leadership, including President Rajapaksa and his brothers and opposition candidate General Fonseka," Ms. Butenis wrote in the Jan. 15, 2010, cable.
Patricia Butenis wrote that Mr. Rajapaksa, along with the country's top civilian leadership and then-army chief Gen. Sarath Fonseka, was largely responsible for the alleged war crimes.