Sri Lankan Tamils blast govt over failure to probe war crimes

Sri Lanka was given 18 months to establish credible investigations into atrocities, but the deadline lapsed without these promises being kept.

Sri Lankan Tamils blast govt over failure to probe war crimes

World Bulletin / News Desk

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party accused the government Wednesday of not lifting a finger to address wartime crimes, as the foreign minister asked the UN for more time to investigate abuses.

President Maithripala Sirisena had agreed to a United Nations resolution which, among other things, called for special war crime tribunals and reparations for victims of the 37-year Tamil separatist conflict that claimed at least 100,000 lives.

The Tamil National Alliance, a moderate party representing the  minority Tamil population, has been scathing about the lack of progress and wants Colombo held to account.

"Sri Lanka has not accomplished even one of its obligations," alliance spokesman and legislator M. A. Sumanthiran told reporters. 

"They were given 18 months but they haven't done a single thing."

Sri Lanka "has to be given further time", Sumanthiran said.

His remarks came shortly after Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera asked the UN for more time, promising that his country remained committed to seeking justice.

Sri Lanka had been asked to report back on its progress to the UN Human Rights Council, which has been meeting in Geneva.

"With patience, understanding and constant and consistent effort and perseverance, we strongly believe that we can make the reconciliation process a success," he told the Council.

Sri Lanka has been criticised for its response to atrocities stemming from the conflict, which formally ended in May 2009 with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers separatist group.

Last September the UN urged Sri Lanka to "take concrete steps to address the impatience, anxiety and reservations towards the process".


Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Mart 2017, 15:13