57 Congressmen call for war crime probe in Sri Lanka

57 Congressmen call for war crime probe in Sri Lanka

Expressing strong concern over the post-conflict situation in Sri Lanka, the group said such an investigation is in the best interest of the US and the people of Sri Lanka to ensure a lasting peace following a quarter century of ethnic conflict.

"... such a peace can only be reached once the truth about the past is understood," said the letter dated August 9, released to the press on August 10.

"We urge you to call for a robust and independent international investigation that would finally clarify the events that occurred during the conflict and provide the foundation for a sustainable peace in Sri Lanka," the Congressmen wrote in their joint letter to Clinton.
The Congressman said they fully share the concerns of the international community that Sri Lanka's Reconciliation Commission has too narrow a scope and no mandate to hold those investigated accountable for their actions.

"Whatever conclusions this Commission will come to, we strongly believe that only a parallel international mechanism conducting an independent investigation with the formal backing and the authority of the specialised United Nations mechanism, such as the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council or the Office of the Secretary General, can verify any conclusions of Sri Lanka's Reconciliation Commission," they said.

Without such verification, neither accountability nor trust can be achieved, which are crucially important for any successful reconciliation, the Congressmen felt.

The said there was mounting evidence that suggests that both parties in conflict committed severe human rights violations during the conflict.

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