Amnesty enlists Trinco killings in push for UN war-crime investigation

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 February 2011, 22:55 GMT]
Dr. Kasipillai Manoharan, the father of one of the “Trinco 5” students killed by the Sri Lanka security forces in 2006, and two Amnesty officials delivered 52,000 signed petitions to the UN offices in New York Tuesday, Amnesty website reported. The petition, which appeared to have been timed to precede the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) sessions scheduled from February 28 to March 25 in Geneva, was the result from the responses Amnesty received following a call for action campaign demanding international investigations as a first step towards accountability for crimes committed by both protagonists in Sri Lanka's war.

Amnesty Photo: (L-R) McDonald, Foster, and Dr Manoharan handing over petition to UN official
Amnesty Photo: (L-R) McDonald, Foster, and Dr Manoharan handing over petition to UN official
US Director of Amnesty International, Jim McDonald and Yolanda Foster, the Amnesty researcher on Sri Lanka, accompanied Dr. Manoharan to deliver the petitions to the U.N. "We pressed the UN to act on our petition without delay and let them know we would be following up to make sure an international investigation is promptly established," Jim McDonald said in a posting at the Amnesty website.

"The U.S. government has not yet joined Amnesty in our call for an international investigation. We could use their support. Please write to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ask that the U.S. government encourage the establishment by the UN of an international investigation into war crimes and other abuses in Sri Lanka. For Dr. Manoharan’s sake and that of all the other families of the victims, we cannot stop campaigning until they receive justice," McDonald added.

Sri Lanka's Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe will lead the Sri Lankan delegation to help to prevent any damage to Sri Lanka's human rights image at the HRC meeting in Geneva, according to reports from Colombo press.

In the past year alone, approximately 60 Members of Congress and 20 Senators have urged the U.S. State Department to take steps towards an independent investigation of gross human rights violations committed during Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict.

Last week several dozen parliamentarians from Britain’s three main political parties wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron urging an independent international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka.

External Links:
AI: War Crimes in Sri Lanka: Time for UN to Act


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