Amnesty urges US to probe visiting S. Lanka leader

20th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Amnesty International on Thursday urged the United States to launch a war crimes investigation of Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is on a private visit to the country.

Rights groups have accused both the Sri Lankan military and the separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas of war crimes in the final months of their decades-long conflict that ended in 2009.

Amnesty said in a statement the US had an obligation under international law to investigate Rajapakse as commander-in-chief of a military accused of rights violations.

Rajapakse left for the US on Wednesday with Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris for what his officials said was a private visit.

"Thousands of victims in Sri Lanka demand accountability for the abuses they've suffered from the Sri Lankan security forces as well as armed groups such as the Tigers," Amnesty's Asia-Pacific director Sam Zarifi said in a statement from London.

The UN estimated that up to 100,000 people were killed in the conflict, which ended when government forces wiped out the Tiger leadership.

© 2011 AFP

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