Cameron puts Sri Lanka on notice over war crimes

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, Colombo
  • Updated: Nov 17, 2013 01:06 IST

The war of words between British prime minister and Sri Lanka over human rights issues reached a flashpoint on Saturday even as an article in the state-owned “Daily News” urged David Cameron to get educated about “Tamil Nadu’s squeeze on Jaffna fishermen.”

Cameron who met president Mahinda Rajapaksa after his return from Tamil-dominated Jaffna talked tough. The British prime minister said Sri Lankans have to conduct an independent investigation into the alleged war crimes by March, else he will push for a probe by the United Nations’ human rights commission.

“I told President Rajapaksa that there is need for a credible, transparent and independent internal inquiry into the events at the end of the war (against LTTE) by the end of March. If that does not happen I will use our position to move the UN Human Rights Commission and work with the Rights Commissioner for an independent inquiry,” Cameron said on the sidelines of the common wealth heads of government summit.

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“There is the problem of human rights as we speak today: the people who have disappeared, the lack of free rights for journalists and a free press,” Cameron told a press conference, pressing “for a proper investigations to look into what happened at the end of this very long, appalling civil war.”

However Rajapakse has denied that civilians were killed.

“Why should we have an international inquiry? We will object to it. Definitely, we are not going to allow it to happen,” economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa, who is President Mahinda Rajapakse’s brother said.

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