David Cameron threatens to push for an independent international inquiry into allegations of war crimes at the end of Sri Lanka's civil war if the island nation does not conduct its own probe by 20!"
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-r Cameron has been the most vocal critic of Sri Lanka's record on rights during a biannual summit of Commonwealth nations being held in the capital Colombo"ollow the Channel ! )ews team at Chogm in Sri Lanka $he normally sedate event has been shaken by the intensifying row over atrocities during the final months of the war and ongoing abuses ever since"%) 1uman &ights CouncilLet me be very clear" 3f an investigation is not completed by -arch4 then 3 will use our position on the %) 1uman &ights Council to work with the %) 1uman &ights Commission and call for a full credible and independent international inquiry4 -r Cameron told reporters"-arch is when the %) 1uman &ights Commission ne5t meets to assess Sri Lanka's progress on addressing human rights abuses including allegations of war crimes"3t was not immediately clear what form an international inquiry would take"3f an investigation is not completed by -arch4 then 3 will call for a full independent inquiry6 David Cameron-r Cameron added7 %ltimately all of this is about reconciliation" 3t is about bringing 8ustice and closure and healing to this country which now has a chance of a much brighter future" $hat will only happen by dealing with these issues and not ignoring them" $he government4 run by -ahinda &a8apaksa and several of his family members4 disputes the number given for civilian deaths and says civilian casualties were far lower" 3t says criticism of its record on rights amounts to foreign interference in its affairs"9e are not going to allow4 definitely we will ob8ect it4 another one of the president's brothers4 ,conomic Development -inister .asil &a8apaksa said
in response to a question about the possibility of an international inquiry"'9e will take our time'*n Saturday Channel ! )ews oreign #ffairs Correspondent :onathan -iller qui;;ed -r &a8apaksa about -r Cameron's earlier comments"<resident &a8apaksa replied7 9e will take our time and we will investigate into nearly /0 years of war"Sri Lanka has in the past refused to allow the %nited )ations unfettered access to the former war ;ones"9e will take our time and we will investigate into nearly /0 years of war6 -ahinda &a8apaksa $he Sri Lankan army crushed $amil $iger separatists in the final battle of a long civil war in 200=4 in a strategy partly drawn up by <resident -ahinda &a8apaksa's brother4 defence secretary >otabaya &a8apaksa"
Watch above: President Rajapaksa is quizzed by Channel 4 News
Some /004000 civilians were trapped on a narrow beach during the onslaught and a %) panel estimates !04000 non6combatants died" .oth sides committed atrocities but army shelling killed most victims4 it concluded"Since the end of the war4 harassment of government critics4 including attacks on 8ournalists and human rights workers have continued"# heavy army presence on the former $amil $iger strongholds in the north of the country angers some local ethnic $amils who feel they are treated as enemies of the state"&ead more7 Cameron 'good to his word' in tackling &a8apaksa on human rights#t the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth meeting on riday4 the president said he had saved lives by ending the war and that the