The Sri Lankan government today angrily rejected a US state department report containing allegations of human rights abuses in the final days of the country’s civil war, saying the document would fan further conflict.
According to accounts said by a senior US state department official to be “credible and well substantiated”, government forces abducted and killed ethnic Tamil civilians, shelled and bombed no-fire zones, and killed senior rebel leaders with whom they had brokered a surrender.
Although the US stressed the allegations in the report did not constitute an accusation of war crimes, the Sri Lankan foreign affairs ministry in Colombo accused the US of smearing its reputation. “The allegations against the government of Sri Lanka … appear to be unsubstantiated and devoid of corroborative evidence. There is a track record of vested interests endeavouring to bring the government of Sri Lanka into disrepute, through fabricated allegations and concocted stories.”
The office of the UN human rights chief renewed its call Friday for a probe into alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan troops and Tamil rebels during the final stages of the country’s civil war.
“We still believe that something like the Gaza fact-finding mission is certainly warranted given the widespread concerns about the conduct of the war in Sri Lanka,” said Rupert Colville, a spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.
Sri Lanka, like Israel, believes that killing civilians in its “war on terror” is both justified and necessary.
It’s really hard to understand why many in the civilised world now regard both countries as rogue nations.