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Friday, August 20, 2010

Sri Lanka Government is under fire for war crimes

From Amnesty International;

We deserve to know why civilians were used as human shields against bullets. And why observers and journalists were barred from entering the war zone. But the government of Sri Lanka doesn't seem as interested in finding out.The country had been embroiled in a bitter conflict for nearly 30 years.
Now instead of demanding justice, the government has set up yet another weak and ineffective commission1 that threatens to prolong the country's vicious cycle of abuse and impunity. This month, the U.S. State Department issued a report that confirms what we've suspected all along: Sri Lanka is no closer to answering war crimes-related questions than they were before this whole charade began. The United Nations (UN) is the only one who can establish an independent, international investigation and ensure that justice is brought to the 300,000 displaced civilians who were trapped in a deadly crossfire between government security forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Amnesty officials will deliver our petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon very soon. We're so close to reaching our goal of 50,000 signers, and every name counts.Call on the UN to investigate war crimes in Sri Lanka.Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Gamini Peiris recently blasted Amnesty International and other human rights supporters for advocating on behalf of the rights of civilians2. He questioned our "moral authority" in getting involved.But to at least 58 members of Congress who signed our joint letter to Secretary Clinton3 and the nearly 40,000 Amnesty supporters who've signed our petition so far, our message is clear: the people of Sri Lanka deserve justice.We will continue pressing officials to establish an independent and international investigation for as long as it takes. Thank you for helping to make a difference in Sri Lanka.

Chistoph, Jim and the rest of the Crisis Response Team
Amnesty International USA

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