War crimes probe needed in Sri Lanka: rights body

April 28th, 2009 - 3:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, April 28 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s admission that it has used heavy weapons in areas crowded with displaced civilians underscores the need for an international inquiry into violations of the laws of war by government forces and the Tamil Tigers, Human Rights Watch has said.
The Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat conceded Monday: “Our security forces have been instructed to end the use of heavy caliber guns, combat aircraft and aerial weapons which could cause civilian casualties.”

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said: “By admitting it has been using heavy weapons all along, the Sri Lanka government has shed light onto its official deception as well as its brutal military tactics.

“The UN Security Council should stop burying its head in the sand on Sri Lanka and urgently create an international commission of inquiry to look at abuses by both sides.”

According to the UN, an estimated 6,400 people have been killed and more than 13,000 wounded in the conflict area in Sri Lanka since January.

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