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Sri Lanka warned on ‘war crimes’

May 15, 2009

BBC : Sri Lanka warned on ‘war crimes’
The UK has told Sri Lanka it may face a potential war crimes probe over deaths of civilians in the island’s conflict, a Foreign Office minister has said.

Comments made by UK Parliamentarians:
– Bill Rammell: Britain backed an early inquiry into shelling by government forces fighting Tamil Tiger separatist rebels.
– Keith Vaz appealed for UK intervention to stop the conflict.
– members demanded for diplomatic relations be broken off with Sri Lanka.
– Bill Rammell: We would support an early investigation into all incidents that may have resulted in civilian casualties.
– Bill Rammell: the message from the UK government was that the “killing has to stop”.
“The use of heavy weapons in an area of such intense civilian occupation will inevitably lead to civilian casualties, making it very difficult to comply with the requirements under international law to minimise civilian casualties.”
“We would support an early investigation into all incidents that may have resulted in civilian casualties, particularly the reported shelling of hospitals, to determine whether war crimes have been committed.”
– Andrew Dismore: suggested it was “time the rest of the world turned their back on the Sri Lankan government, isolated them and held them to account”.
– Bill Rammell said the government had made it “absolutely clear” to Sri Lanka that it supports an investigation on “any allegations of war crimes”.
– Keith Simpson said he supported the government’s efforts and raised concerns about the conditions in the conflict zone.
– Keith Vaz: “We intervened in Kosovo. I accepted the dossier that the then prime minister presented to the House. I voted to intervene in Iraq. I say we cannot stand aside.”

Read article here.

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