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Eminent rights activists write to UNHRC on Sri Lanka

Washington: Over 50 eminent citizens from across the world today in a letter asked the UN Human Rights Council to show courage and consistency when it discusses a report this week on human rights in Sri Lanka and help bring justice to the war crime victims of the country.

The letter, signed by 62 eminent pesonalities from diverse fields, reminds the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that just as it was necessary to set up an international inquiry, so it is now necessary to move on to an internationally mandated judicial process.

A purely domestic process in Sri Lanka – run by the government which won the war – would inevitably be a “victors court” and would fail to have that fundamental element: the confidence of the victims, the letter said.

“The release of the report should not mark the end of the international community’s responsibility to the people of Sri Lanka,” said the letter, which comes as the Council meets next week to consider the report of the UN High Commissioner’s investigation into the war crimes, particularly in the last few weeks of Sri Lanka’s civil war with the LTTE in 2009.

Signatories to the letter allege that the US is now shifting its position and is reported to be supporting the new Sri Lankan government of conducting its own domestic probe into the alleged war crimes.

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