Washington, D.C. – Congressman Howard Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement on the recent release of the UN Panel of Experts Report on Sri Lanka.
“In light of UN Experts Panel Report on Sri Lanka, which found credible evidence that government soldiers targeted civilians, shelled hospitals and attacked humanitarian workers, I call on the Sri Lankan government to take real measures, beyond the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, to ensure that those involved in violations of human rights and war crimes are held to account in a transparent and expeditious manner. This also includes any remaining members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, against whom the Panel also found credible evidence of serious human rights violations.”
“I am deeply concerned that the government of Sri Lanka has thus far chosen to protest the report’s conclusions rather than accept the recommendations of the UN Panel. I hope the Sri Lankan government, who has called the report biased and fundamentally flawed, will reconsider its position and follow through on President Rajapakse’s commitment to an accountability process that addresses violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. Unless the government takes real action to investigate and punish those guilty of war crimes, I fear there can be no sustainable reconciliation process to move the country forward.”