News / Europe

Britain Threatens Sri Lanka With Inquiry Over Stalled Reconciliation

Britain's PM David Cameron (2nd L), Chief Minister of Northern province, C. V. Vigneswaran (2nd R) and Sri Lankan Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party leader R. Sampanthan (L) look out from the public library in Jaffna, north of Colombo, Nov. 15, 2013.
Britain's PM David Cameron (2nd L), Chief Minister of Northern province, C. V. Vigneswaran (2nd R) and Sri Lankan Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party leader R. Sampanthan (L) look out from the public library in Jaffna, north of Colombo, Nov. 15, 2013.
VOA News
British Prime Minister David Cameron has cautioned Sri Lanka to speed up its human rights and reconciliation process from civil war or face an international investigation.

Speaking Saturday at a British Commonwealth summit in Colombo, Cameron told reporters that the issue of war crimes and human rights abuses during and after Sri Lanka's 27-year conflict are not going away. He said if Sri Lanka does not address international concerns over its human rights record, his country will push for a U.N.-led investigation.

He also said he had frank discussions with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse after the prime minister returned from a fact-finding trip to the war-torn Jaffna region Friday and sensed the Colombo government does want to make progress on the issue.

However, Water Minister Nimal Siripalade Silva rejected Cameron's remarks, saying Sri Lanka would resist an international probe.

During Cameron's trip to northern Sri Lanka Friday, his motorcade was mobbed by protesters seeking answers about the country's civil war.

Several hundred people gathered on the streets of Jaffna, saying they wanted help from the international community to find missing loved ones from the war.

Some of the protesters scuffled with police and one group blocked a media vehicle. The protesters held up pictures of lost loved ones and some shouted, "We want to meet Cameron."

Cameron said on Twitter that the stories he heard in the north were "often harrowing."

Northern Sri Lanka suffered the worst of the country's decades-long civil war between soldiers and ethnic Tamil rebels.

The leaders of India and Canada boycotted this year's Commonwealth gathering amid controversy surrounding allegations the Sri Lankan army committed war crimes during the final months of the civil war.

At the opening of the conference Friday, Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa urged his fellow leaders not to pass judgment on his country's past.  

The Sri Lankan government is under international scrutiny for the conduct of the final stages of its military campaign against Tamil Tiger rebels, when tens of thousands of civilians died. The government has staunchly denied committing war crimes.

The civil conflict ended in 2009 after nearly three decades of fighting.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: tehan perera from: sri lankan
November 20, 2013 9:37 AM
well what about all the people killed by the tigers. it was not only sinhalese people that were killed lot of tamils were killed by them too when they were doing all of these cruel killings there wasn't any international learder or assosiation to stop them the funniest thing is after the end of the war all these people are trying to find the faults nobody reminds about the kids the women and the cleargy killed by the tamil tigers . it would be great if you people can help a country stand up not to break up


by: Michael Jones
November 17, 2013 11:18 PM
I would definitely recommend a "study tour" in Zimbabwe for you David, alternatively you could undertake some serious research into the situation and acquaint yourself with the extreme hardships facing the ordinary people and what they have gone through and are still experiencing and what the future holds?


by: David Hill
November 17, 2013 12:38 PM
There is no excuse for mass killings or genocide by politically controlled nations. That goes without saying but all countries have at some time in their history committed genocide. Indeed from the beginning of time humans have killed each other usually for economic gain or survival. We are therefore no different in many ways to the animal kingdom but clearly where we should be.

A great deal would change if nations had ‘real’ empathy with each other, but where political and corporate corruption change this mind-set to one of personal economic gain. Once this has happened (and it has to all nations), if people get in the way it appears that they are exterminated.

Indeed when we look at the world’s history of genocide we see that western nations are as bad as all others. For one, the USA has the greatest crime against humanity when the Europeans took over North America. According to historical data it all stated with Columbus and the Pilgrim Fathers, and where the Indian tribes apparently greeted their new so-called friends from another world with open arms and heartfelt greetings. Little did they know that these new comers would eventually kill them. Therefore who were the savages, the Indians or the Europeans?

But what happened in the USA is a little known story as the Europeans took over this northern continent. Indeed because the new European's economic interests predominated over everything, there is documented evidence that they exterminated between 50 million and 100 million native Indians (not necessarily savages either but peace abiding tribes and where the Indian wars only emerged because of the excesses of the new colonizing Europeans as they went further into the interior). To put these figures into perspective Hitler only murdered 11 million in the Holocaust (5 million of them of Jewish descendancy). Therefore the Europeans taking over what we now know as the USA, terminated the lives some 5 to 9 times that of the Nazi persecution. A similar thing happened in South and central America with the Spanish conquest in their quest for riches and global power.
Therefore although western leaders have definitely to take to task the Sri Lankan regime and stop these crimes against humanity, our own history is steeped in genocide also (including slavery on a global scale). Regrettable but definitely historical fact.

Therefore my summation of the problem of genocide is that at its roots there is economic and financial exploitation for the very few, politicians included – very much like today and where things have not really changed that much. Therefore not until a new breed of politicians and corporate leaders have persuasions that put people's lives above economic and political gains, genocide will unfortunately continue infinitum I am afraid to say. That is why people like Ed Snowdon have to show their face and expose as much behind closed doors decisions that they can, both in government and big business (as the two are inextricably bound together). Indeed the new EU-USA trade pact again favours corporations and gives big corporations power over sovereign states where if they do not achieve a certain profit margin, they can sue our national

governments for the difference and get it. How mad is this, but it does show the immense power of corporates over national governments. Indeed according to Forbes a mere 2,000 corporates last year controlled 51% of all the global economic turnover in nominal terms or 51% of the total economic cake. The EU-USA agreement will give them even more power to extort more money out of the people of Europe and the US. Therefore genocide has its fundamental base in conomic greed and the reason why it will never cease.
Dr David Hill
World Innovation Foundation

In Response

by: DORAI RAJ L from: Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
November 18, 2013 10:37 AM
Dear Sirs,

The entire world knows what happened in Sri Lanka during its war against the tamils(of course it was a hidden war against Tamils). And this is not a time to make research how the humans worldwide practiced in past. Because we have been on the way of developing ourselves by updating with humanitarian movements, as man was in those days more like an animal. So speaking of past or history may not be useful here. In past, no human was human.

Almost all were more or less behaving as if they were animals by doing so many worst activities for example selling human slaves etc. But, now human being is maturing and doing the same as in past is to be stopped. What we have to do is to take account of present days violation of human rights and the violations of past for up to 10 - 15 years. Thus Cameron is correct and he should go a long way on taking actions against Sri Lanka. Please reply if you have different views and let us do something for the betterment of Human Life on earth.


by: Michael Jones
November 17, 2013 12:05 AM
If only the British Government was consistent? Zimbabwe so much tragedy has happened in that Country, it is unbelievable How people suffered? and were just left. A tragedy of immense proportions.

In Response

by: sathyam
November 19, 2013 12:00 AM
You guys are propaganda wing of British looters, Down with British supremacy and white supremacy .Sell that to Indians and tamils. Nobody else buy such trash. your moderators don't ever publish views of average brown man. You think and act as if you own this world. You are impotent to face facts. Keep trying to divide and conquer.

In Response

by: sthya deva from: Jaffana
November 18, 2013 11:55 PM
United kingdom is a kingdom still living on looting others . Srilankans were under terrorist threat for 30 years. The browns who died due to tamil tiger terrorism is absolutely neglected by Brits. When ten people die in London they bomb the hell out of their enemies conquer and go to places like Afganistan and destroy all there is. When thousands of Srilankans died queens Prime ministers didn't care. London provide safe heavens to terrorists .

Now BBC calls tamil tigers freedom fighters , IRA is definitely a freedom fighter group. David boy needs to watch = In the name of the Father.
Abbott of Australia knows how the Brits ill treated his ancestors. Commonwealth is a nonsense organization. Racism should end. Human life black brown yellow white is equally valuable. British governments always live on dividing peoples. BBC has that mission. Down with British ,white supremacy.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid