UK Labour party calls for Sri Lanka's War Crimes investigations
[TamilNet, Sunday, 02 October 2011, 18:57 GMT]
Speaking to Tamil supporters at a meeting during the Labour party conference Wednesday, Douglas Alexander MP, the British Shadow Foreign Secretary, said his party supports the establishment of an international commission to investigate the “acts of unconscionable violence” perpetrated in the final months of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict in 2009, a press release issued by the British group, Tamils for Labour. "Investigation held under international auspices was essential given that there are “profound concerns” regarding the independence, accountability and witness protection capacity of Sri Lanka’s domestic inquiry, the ‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission,’" Alexander further said, according to the release.
“I feel it is right, and after discussions with my shadow frontbench team, to say we are not convinced that this Commission can do its work even with international participation and there does need to be an international commission that looks into the evidence.”
Alexander also pledged to contact the British Foreign Secretary’s office regarding the recent decision of the UK Border Agency to deport 50 Tamils to Sri Lanka. “We need to be clear that the British Government has done its job in ensuring that these people are not going to be subjected to torture," Alexander said.
Alexander commended Channel 4 for displaying “the best of British journalism” in making the ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ documentary, and said, it was incumbent on everyone to stand up justice and human rights. “The British Government and all of us [need] to ensure that we are in a position where if harms are going to be perpetrated they are avoided and where harms have taken place they are investigated and the perpetrators of that violence face justice,” Mr Alexander said.
Sen Kandiah, chair of the support group, Tamils for Labour, addressing the main conference, spoke of the unending despair of the Tamil people in their homeland and said those responsible for the killing of 40,000 Tamils should be held accountable.