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EU nations call for war crimes probe

The European Union called for an independent inquiry into alleged violations of humanitarian and human rights laws in Sri Lanka.

world Updated: May 19, 2009 02:55 IST

The European Union called on Monday for an independent inquiry into alleged violations of humanitarian and human rights laws in Sri Lanka.

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels said the 27-nation bloc was “appalled” by reports of high numbers of civilian casualties, including children, in fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels.

“The fighting must stop now,” said the EU which stressed the need for international humanitarian and human rights law to be respected. “The EU calls for the alleged violations of these laws to be investigated through an independent inquiry. Those accountable must be brought to justice.”

While calling the Tamil Tigers a terrorist movement using civilians as human shields, the EU said human rights had to be respected in the fight against terrorism.

It called on all sides to work urgently towards a political solution that addressed the concerns of everyone in the country. The EU statement urged Colombo to cooperate fully with the UN to resolve the humanitarian crisis.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband stressed the need for reconciliation.