The European Union has also decided to support a credible and independent investigation into the alleged war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s war against Tamil Tiger terrorists.
The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union at its meeting held in Brussels on Monday (10 February) has adopted the conclusion to actively support the accountability and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka and address the current human rights situation in the country.
The Council said reaffirming its strong commitment to and support for the UN Human Rights Council and other UN bodies tasked with the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide, it has adopted the conclusion ahead of the 25th regular session of the UNHRC.
“The EU will actively support efforts to enhance accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, including a credible and independent investigation into the alleged severe crimes during the civil war, as well as to address the current human rights situation in the country,” the Council said.
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy chaired the Monday’s Council Meeting.
The UK has earlier called for Sri Lanka to begin a credible, transparent and independent investigation into the alleged war crimes and human right violations by March 2014. The EU Council member has warned Sri Lanka that it would use its position in the UNHRC to launch an international investigation if Sri Lanka failed to commence an independent investigation by the deadline imposed.
The EU Council’s conclusion comes days after a resolution was submitted in the United States Senate calling the US and the international community to establish an independent international accountability mechanism to evaluate reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations committed by both sides during and after the war in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has strongly rejected calls for an international investigation saying that it already has a mechanism set in place to address the accountability and right violation issues but it needs more time to implement the measures recommended by its domestic mechanism.
Meanwhile, two powerful countries in the UN Security Council, Russia and China have assured their strong support to Sri Lanka in its fight to ward off foreign intervention into the country’s internal affairs.