Britain says Sri Lanka hospital attack ‘unacceptable’

February 6th, 2009 - 8:40 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 6 (IANS) Britain has said the recent repeated bombing of a civilian hospital in Sri Lanka is “unacceptable” and called for an investigation into it.“To put it bluntly, the situation in Sri Lanka is nothing short of shocking,” Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Rammell told the British parliament Thursday.

Rammell said that a hospital that had been declared a no-fire zone was shelled three times Sunday and further shelling has taken place this week, with the UN reporting at least 50 civilian deaths in these attacks.

“Any attempts, including by representatives of the Sri Lankan government, to defend the shelling of the hospital are frankly unacceptable,” he said.

The British minister urged Sri Lanka to investigate any allegations of abuses by their forces and to launch a full investigation into the shelling of the hospital and into other civilian deaths.

“The primary burden for investigation rests on the authority against whose forces allegations of war crimes are made, and we expect such investigations to be undertaken,” he added in response to questions put by a large number of MPs, including Keith Vaz, Simon Hughes and Jeremy Corbyn.

Vaz pointed out that some 100,000 Sri Lankan Tamils held a protest demonstration in London Saturday and wanted the British government to convey the strength of feeling to Colombo.

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