Sri Lanka seeks Donald Trump’s help to drop war crimes charges

Sri Lanka has said it will set up special courts to address issues of accountability, but the promised judicial mechanisms have yet to be established.

By: AFP | Colombo | Published:November 27, 2016 10:35 pm
Donald Trump, Sri lanka, Sri Lanka war crimes, war crimes, Trump Sri lanka, Sri lanka UN, Maithripala Sirisena, news, latest news, India news, national news Sri Lankan president Sirisena said he had been able to “tone down” a US-initiated censure resolution soon after defeating Rajapakse and coming to power in January 2015. (source: PTI)

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has asked Donald Trump to pressure the UN Human Rights Council to drop war crimes allegations against the country’s troops. Sirisena’s office said today he had sent a “special message” to president-elect Trump seeking US intervention at the council, where Sri Lanka faces censure for wartime atrocities.

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“I sent a special message to Donald Trump asking him to support us at the (council),” the President said. “I am asking him to help completely clear my country (of war crimes allegations) and allow us to start afresh.” Sirisena said he was making a similar appeal to the incoming UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

However, during a visit by outgoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Sri Lanka last month, Sirisena had asked for more time to investigate war crimes, a sensitive political issue in the majority-Sinhalese country. Sri Lanka has said it will set up special courts to address issues of accountability, but the promised judicial mechanisms have yet to be established.

There have been allegations that troops killed up to 40,000 minority Tamils during the final battle against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009, a period when Sirisena’s predecessor and strongman leader Mahinda Rajapakse was in power. Sirisena said he had been able to “tone down” a US-initiated censure resolution soon after defeating Rajapakse and coming to power in January 2015. But he was keen to secure Trump’s help to have the allegations against Sri Lanka dropped.

The rights council has asked Sri Lanka to ensure credible investigations into war crimes, pay reparations to victims and their families and ensure reconciliation after 37 years of ethnic war which claimed at least 100,000 lives. Troops still have a large presence in the former conflict zones in the north and east and keep a close watch on the local Tamil population, seven years after the end of the war.

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  1. D
    DEISHA PREMI
    Jan 24, 2017 at 2:55 pm
    the latest decision of sri lankan president , MITHREEPALA to appeal new president - elect DONALD TRUMPT to have the war crime allegations against government forces dropped is very commendable. as law abiding citizens , we know that during the last 30 year period. how the government troops , the famous political leaders, even buddhist monks ,innocent singalees and muslim civilians got killed and fell victims by the bullets of separatist L.T.T.E terrorists . due to the lethargic atude of the previous governments to publicize those sad news to the inter national communities , those racists L..T.T.E won the sympathy of those international communities. I implore the representatives of the member countries of human rights council to be lenient on their stand on appointing hybrid court to meddle into the so called disappearances of tamil civilians during the final phase of war. it is very deplorable that those international communities such as NETHERLANDER, FRANCE, which are very much concerned about the the disappearance of civilians don"t take the same interest in investigating the 1000s of innocent singhalees people and MUSLIM people who lived in those TAMIL dominant areas in the north and the east as they do to espouse the separatist movement of the tamils.
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