US says Sri Lanka Commission does not meet [International] standards
[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 June 2010, 16:51 GMT]
Stephen Rapp, Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues appointed by President Obama, said, "what's been announced to date has not met the standard. They're [Sri Lanka is] telling use it does have that capacity, to investigate these cases, to follow up and call witnesses. We're hearing it, but we're not seeing it." Rapp's statement came as a response to a question from Inner City Press which asked Rapp if "Lessons Learned" [Commission] was adequate to carry out investigations, ICP reported.
Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, has on film in BBC's Hardtalk program threatened to hang military whistleblower Sarath Fonseka if he dares testify to any independent investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka.
However, the ICP reported, "[s]urprisingly, while Rapp responded to Inner City Press that he had seen the BBC Hard Talk interview with Gotabaya Rajapaksa, he [Rapp] said he [Rapp] had "missed" the portion in which Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that if former top general Sarath Fonseka testified about war crimes, he would be "hung" as a traitor.
"He said that?" Rapp had responded. "It missed that... Witnesses need to testify freely, without consequences." Rapp emphasized that the US is "engaged... Samantha Power was there," ICP quoted Rapp as saying.
Samantha Power, Director of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the National Security Council in the Obama administration, David Pressman, Director for war crimes atrocities and civilian protection of the US National Security Council, have been to Sri Lanka on a 4-day visit, and had discussions with Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse.
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