“We support a full and credible and independent investigation of alleged violations of international human rights and law and international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka. We want to see the Sri Lankans do this themselves in a way that meets international standards. So what I would say to Sri Lankan critics is take your responsibility and mount an investigation that meets international standards.- State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland
US ultimatum; Opposition parties
The opposition parties had mixed responses today with regards to the ultimatum issued by the United States State Department. The JVP alleged that the government had signed a secret agreement with the US and therefore was unable stand up to its intimidation while the UNP thought it unnecessary for the US to interfere on accountability issues and that this was a threat from the western block.
“In 2008 the government signed a contract with the US to provide them with military logistics and now they cannot go back on their word. This was an agreement signed behind without consultation with the public in total secret,” JVP leader Somawansa Amerasinghe said. He added that this secret pact was holding the government back from making any strong statement against the US and also allowed the US planes to intrude into Sri Lankan Airspace
Meanwhile the UNP is of the view that the most recent call from the US is a representative threat from the Western bloc. “This is a threat coming not from the US but from the western power bloc including the European Union,” UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapaksa said.
However he noted that it was not for the US to intrude into local matters. “They must understand that we are just coming out of a war and the people have suffered. There is no need for them to stir feelings of the nation again,” he said. He further added that the US was having double standards and impeding on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. (Dianne Silva)
US has failed; Rambukwella
The Government said today that it regretted to note that the United States has not taken into account the accountability measures taken by the government in the past months. “It is unfortunate that the US has not taken note of all the accountability measures we have taken thus far,” Minister of Mass Media and the Government Spokesperson Keheliya Rambukwella said.
“We have proved sufficiently to the international community including the United Nations with evidence of the humanitarian measures we took during the last stages of the war. We have answered every question quite adequately,” he said.
He further added that the government had not made any direct report to the US of the accountability measures taken by the government. “We have commented on these allegations so many times,” he said.
However the Minister noted that the government was not trivialising the ultimatum by the US. “It would be wrong to say that we are not taking their statement seriously,” he said.
US sanctions will be futile-JHUSupun Dias
JHU General Secretary and Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka said that all foreign expert panels or committees have proven that Sri Lanka had not exceeded the accepted international parameter in warfare.
“The US State Department in a media briefing recently demanded us to produce a report on the war and some wanted us to provide the facts before September 21 at the UN General Assembly meeting”, he said.
“While the US accuses us of war crimes, Wikileaks with its accounts of Iraq taken from US cables, proved that thousands of civilians were killed during operations in Iraq”, he added.
“The West is facing major difficulties today owing to uprisings by far right groups since the attacks in Norway”, he said.
“The US threat of economic sanctions would not hold water now as US itself is gradually plunging into a major economic mess with debts running to trillions of dollars”, he noted.
“Therefore the United States should not disrupt the peaceful environment the people living here following the defeat of the LTTE. We helped the US by vanquishing the LTTE as the Tigers were maintaining strong links with major terrorist outfits in the world that now pose a threat to the US”, Minister Ranawaka said.