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HRW backs international inquiry into Lanka's war crimes

Alleges Sri Lankan government has taken no significant steps to implement its recommendations

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

The Watch (HRW) has backed rights chief's recommendation for an inquiry into alleged committed in during the final phase of battle with the

"The United Nations Council should adopt the recommendation of High Commissioner for (UNHRC) Navi Pillay to create an independent inquiry into and other serious abuses committed in armed conflict," the New York-based said.

"The Sri Lankan government has refused to address its role in the deaths of tens of thousands at the end of the country's brutal civil war," Brad Adams, Asia director of the HRW, said.

The report by Pillay, a South African of Indian Tamil origin, has concluded the Sri Lankan government has taken no significant steps to implement the recommendations on accountability of its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

"National mechanisms have consistently failed to establish the truth and achieve justice. The High Commissioner believes this can no longer be explained as a function of time or technical capacity, but that it is fundamentally a question of political will," the report stated.

"The bottom line is that has repeatedly refused to undertake investigations into crimes committed by its own forces, so it will be up to members of the Human Rights Council to take decisive action at the coming March session," Adams said.

Meanwhile, the Amnesty also said that the Sri Lankan government’s targeting of critics persists at alarming levels, with more surveillance and harassment reported ahead of next month's UNHRC.

First Published: Fri, February 28 2014. 14:48 IST