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India pushes Sri Lanka over war probe

India today encouraged Sri Lanka to implement findings of a probe into the island's bloody civil war as a way to improve ethnic relations after decades of bloodshed.

world Updated: Jan 17, 2012 17:26 IST

India on Tuesday encouraged Sri Lanka to implement findings of a probe into the island's bloody civil war as a way to improve ethnic relations after decades of bloodshed.

India's external affairs minister SM Krishna noted the "constructive recommendations" of the investigation, which acknowledged that civilians had been killed as a result of military action against the Tamil Tiger rebels.

"These recommendations, when implemented, would mark a major step forward in the process of genuine national reconciliation," Krishna said after talks in Colombo. "Sri Lanka must seize this opportunity."

Krishna added that he expected Sri Lanka to fully implement a devolution package brokered by New Delhi in 1987.

Sri Lankan forces crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels in a massive military offensive in May 2009, ending a decades-long conflict which had claimed up to 100,000 lives.

A panel appointed by the government to probe, among other things, why a 2002 truce with the Tigers broke down, recommended that specific allegations of excesses by Sri Lankan security forces should be independently investigated.

Many Tamils and rights groups have dismissed the probe, and called for a full UN investigation into alleged war crimes.

Sri Lanka's Tamil minority has long accused the Sinhalese-dominated government of discrimination in jobs and education.

India has strong links with Sri Lanka's Tamil population and is also sensitive about increasing Chinese influence over the island.