Security Council ‘must act in Sri Lanka’

Published on OneWorld.net, by Amnesty International UK, 13 May 2009. (See also Amnesty International).

Amnesty International has demanded that the Sri Lankan authorities allow immediate and unhindered access to the troubled areas – including the “Safe Zone” – to international monitors and humanitarian agencies, who can assess the situation first hand and help ensure that the humanitarian and human rights crisis is addressed …

… There are grounds to fear that the Sri Lankan military will launch an even heavier military offensive, when general elections end in neighbouring India today. India’s regional Tamil political parties have made protection of civilians in Sri Lanka a key election issue.  

In its letter to Security Council members, Amnesty International also calls for a Commission of Inquiry to investigate violations of international law: “The Council must recall, in unambiguous terms, that alleged perpetrators of grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including war crimes, must be held individually responsible under international law. Given the mounting evidence of serious violations of international law, the Council should establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate serious violations by all parties in recent months, or request the Human Rights Council to establish such a Commission.”

Background:

  • The total estimated casualty figures of the conflict since January are more than 7,000 killed and 13,000 injured.
  • There are an estimated 50,000 civilians still trapped in the area. (full text).

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For more information please call Amnesty International’s press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566 or e-mail. International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK.

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