Julio 1, 2007

Sri Lanka: US expresses concern over 350 people 'disappeared' in Sri Lanka

Saturday, 30 June 2007
The United States has expressed concern over the fate of 355 Sri Lankans who "disappeared" in recent months amid an escalation of ethnic clashes in the island country, Sri Lankan government said in Colombo on Friday.

SL Foreign Ministry in a statement said US ambassador Robert Blake gave a list of 355 names of people whose whereabouts are yet to be known.

The government said Colombo took the issue seriously and had launched investigations into the list presented soon after the visit of US Assistant Secretary of State Stephen Mann in March who raised concerns about human rights during his visit.

The Colombo government's statement came amid mounting local and international criticism of the island's human rights record.

The Foreign Ministry in a statement said a good number of names was repeated in the US list of names but it did not mention when the victims had disappeared or been abducted.

The US embassy confirmed that the United States had supplied Colombo with the list but declined to give details.

The statement came a day after a presidential commission said 430 civilians, were reported killed between September 14 and February 25 as the ethnic conflict escalated.

The majority of the dead belonged to the Tamil minority, the Special Presidential Commission on Disappearances said, and many of the victims were shot through the head with their hands tied behind their backs.

The government is yet to prosecute anyone for the killings that were widely condemned both at home and abroad. Human rights groups have accused the government security forces, pro-government paramilitary groups and the Tamil Tiger rebels of involvement.


Posted by marga at Julio 1, 2007 1:32 AM | TrackBack
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