UK calls for probe as Lanka gets ready to implement internal panels proposols | world | Hindustan Times
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UK calls for probe as Lanka gets ready to implement internal panels proposols

Shrugging off the international community's lack of faith in the credibility of the government-constituted panel to look into the civil war, Sri Lanka has set up an advisory group to implement its interim recommendations. Sutirtho Patranobis reports.

world Updated: Oct 28, 2010 18:47 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

Shrugging off the international community's lack of faith in the credibility of the government-constituted panel to look into the civil war, Sri Lanka has set up an advisory group to implement its interim recommendations.

The inter-agency advisory group (IAAG) will facilitate the early implementation of the interim recommendations by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), set up by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in May.

The interim proposals of the LLRC seek measures for speedy disposal of cases relating to persons in detention, in keeping with the due process, and to keep family members informed in the event of the change of location of detainees.

Among the issues relating to land in the former conflict areas is the possibility of an assurance that private land may not be used by any government agencies.

But that the international community wasn't convinced about the internal panel's credibility was again proved with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, saying on Wednesday there should be an independent investigation into what happened during the decisive phase of Sri Lanka's war against Tamil Tiger rebels.

Reports from London said Cameron was responding to a question by the opposition Labour Party MP Siobhain McDonagh on the civil rights abuses allegedly taking place in Sri Lanka. .

"We need to see an independent investigation of what happened. Everyone has read the papers and seen the TV footage, but we need an independent investigation to work out whether what she suggests is right," news agencies quoted Cameron as having said.

The fact that the Sri Lankan government has hired a British public relations firm, Bell Pottinger to brush up its image in the international community also came up for discussion.

According to ColomboPage website McDonagh asked Cameron whether he agrees that "no matter how much Bell Pottinger tries to spin the Sri Lankan Government, the demands for an international independent war crimes tribunal intensify as more evidence of alleged assassination and civil rights abuses comes out."

According to a recent report by the BBC, the Sri Lankan government is paying the top British PR firm about $ 4.7 million a year to try to enhance the country's post-war image.