19 September, 2020

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Russia Backs Sri Lanka On War Probe Calls

By RIA Novosti /MOSCOW-

Attempts to force an international probe on Sri Lanka, into civilian deaths and rights abuses during the final months of the island nation’s civil war, are unacceptable, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday at a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart Gamini Lakshman Peiris.

Sergei Lavrov

In May 2009, Sri Lanka’s military defeated the Tamil Tiger rebel group after a massive offensive in the northeast that ended decades of separatist warfare. Since the beginning of the armed conflict in 1983, violence had killed more than 70,000 people, damaged the economy and harmed tourism in one of South Asia’s potentially most prosperous societies. A UN report published in 2011 said both sides in the conflict committed war crimes against civilians. The Sri Lankan government rejected the report, describing it as biased.

Ties between the United States and Sri Lanka have been strained by U.S. sponsorship of a resolution passed by the UN human rights council in March, to press Sri Lanka to conduct an independent probe into civilian deaths in the final months of the civil war , which ended in 2009.

“We believe, attempts to force international investigation on Sri Lanka without the sovereign state’s permission and bypassing the UN Security Council are absolutely wrong, they also contradict our aspirations in the human rights sphere,” Lavrov said.

He emphasized that Sri Lanka has forged an own trustworthy commission to look into the war crimes.

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