Trump must pressure UN to drop war crime charges against Lanka, says President Sirisena

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Nov.27 ; Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has asked U.S. president elect Donald Trump to put pressure on the UN Human Rights Council to drop war crimes allegations against his country's troops.

A statement issued by the office of the president, said that Sirisena has forwarded a special message to Trump, seeking American intervention to end the possibility of Colombo being censured for wartime atrocities.

"I sent a special message to Donald Trump asking him to support us at the (council). I am asking him to help completely clear my country (of war crimes allegations) and allow us to start afresh," President Sirisena said in his statement.

Sirisena said he was making a similar appeal to the incoming UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. When outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Sri Lanka last month, President Sirisena had asked him for more time to investigate the war crimes, which is a sensitive political issue in Sinhala-dominant Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has said it will set up special courts to address issues of accountability, but the promised judicial mechanisms have yet to be established.

There have been allegations that Lankan troops killed up to 40,000 minority Tamils during the final battle against separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009, a period when Sirisena's predecessor and strongman leader Mahinda Rajapakse was in power.

The UNHRC has asked Sri Lanka to ensure credible investigations into war crimes, pay reparations to victims and their families and ensure reconciliation after 37 years of ethnic war which claimed at least 100,000 lives.

Source: ANI