Sri Lankan Army to Probe War Crimes
By SONJA DECHIAN
The Sri Lankan army says it will investigate allegations that war crimes were committed by troops during the country’s civil war against Tamil rebels. Army commander Lt-Gen Jagath Jayasuriya has appointed a court of inquiry to examine reports that troops were responsible for killing civilians and prisoners in 2009.
The announcement is a major shift for Sri Lanka’s armed forces, which previously insisted it did not kill a single Tamil civilian during the offensive. Western governments and human right groups have increasingly pressured Sri Lanka to account for suspected war crimes committed in the final phase of a 25-year war against LTTE rebels, also referred to as the Tamil Tigers.
The announcement came two days after the United States said it would back a resolution in the UN Human Rights Council in March urging Sri Lanka to look into war crimes allegedly carried out by its forces.
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