Colombo rejects Britain’s call for human rights probe
Colombo – Sri Lanka says there’s no need for an international probe into its human rights record as proposed by British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Sri Lanka’s Head of Parliament and Cabinet Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva emphasised Saturday that his country is a sovereign state and therefore will resist attempts for an international investigation, Xinhua reported.
Cameron delivered a tough message to Sri Lanka here Saturday, insisting that if the island country does not put its human rights issues in order by March 2014, his country will push for an international investigation into the alleged war crimes.
Pointing out that “this is not a new threat by Britain”, de Silva insisted that the Sri Lankan government would appeal to other members of the United Nations Human Rights Council to stave off an external interference into the human rights ! issues of Sri Lanka.
“The Commonwealth will not be used as another global policeman,” de Silva said.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the chair of the Commonwealth till 2015. The country is also hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which is the most important meeting of the 53-member bloc.
The Sri Lankan government ended a three-decade civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009 but has come under severe international pressure for its human rights record.
Earlier, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Mauritian counterpart, Navin Chandra Ramgoolam, decided against attending the CHOGM because of Sri Lanka’s human rights record.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, facing domestic pressure not to attend the summit, announced Nov 10 that he would not do so.