The British government has given Sri Lanka time till the end of the year to show progress in addressing alleged human rights violations committed during the final stages of the war.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague has reportedly told the British Foreign Affairs Committee that Sri Lanka has been asked to show progress by the end of this year or Britain will support the international community to press the Sri Lankan government to fulfil its obligations.
The Foreign Affairs Committee has reportedly criticised the British Foreign Office for its failure to press for the setting up of an international war crimes probe to inquire into allegations of war crimes committed by both sides in the Sri Lankan civil war.
Hague had made his response to the concerns raised by the Committee.
Hague has been reported as saying that the British government shares the view of the Committee that concrete action is necessary to deal with the “serious allegations” of breaches of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by both sides during the military conflict in Sri Lanka.
The criticisms come in the backdrop of the UN General Meeting, which President Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to address this week. It has also been reported that the Sri Lanka government will protest a breach of protocol by the UN in not notifying Sri Lanka before sending off copies of the controversial Darusman report to the President of the UN Human Rights Council and the UNHCR.
External Affairs Minister G.L. Pieris has insisted that the UN Secretary General’s office acted against protocol and Sri Lanka would strongly protest the move to send a report that it does not agree with to other UN organisations. (www.colombopage.com)