News / Asia

    Foreign Minister: Sri Lanka Won't Cooperate With UN War Crime Probe

    Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris speaks during a Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) forum in Colombo, April 7, 2014.
    Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris speaks during a Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) forum in Colombo, April 7, 2014.
    Reuters
    Sri Lanka will not cooperate with a United Nations inquiry into alleged war crimes by government forces and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the final phase of their 26-year war, its foreign minister said on Monday.

    The U.N., through a United States-led resolution, last month set an international inquiry into the alleged war crimes and human rights abuses after the island nation's government had failed to investigate them properly.

    Sri Lankan government has rejected the allegations.

    Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris said the government had not accepted the U.N. investigations due to concerns over its legality, fairness, and some conflict of interest issues.

    "Where the government is required to do anything to support the investigation or to participate in it, the government will not do that," Peiris told a Foreign Correspondents Association (FCA) forum on Monday. "Nobody can come here without the cooperation of the Sri Lankan government."

    However, the government will not prevent anybody from giving evidence to any such investigation as there could be various views from different people, he said.

    A U.N. panel has found credible evidence that around 40,000 mainly ethnic minority Tamil civilians were killed in the final phase of the war due to indiscriminate shelling, mostly by the army. Sri Lankan authorities have rejected the allegation.

    Citing concerns over resurgent of terrorism activities, Sri Lanka last week banned 16 Tamil organisations including the separatists Tamil Tigers. Most of the banned organizations had been pushing for an international war crimes inquiry.

    It is still not clear how the U.N. would conduct its probe, Peiris said.

    "They will have to tell us what they want to do. But the clear policy decision had been taken that we do not associate ourself with the inquiry and we do not submit to the jurisdiction of the investigating committee," he said.

    Many rights organizations in the past have complained that Sri Lanka had rejected their visa requests, but the government has rejected the claims.

    The U.N. resolution urged Sri Lanka to investigate all alleged attacks on journalists, human rights defenders, members of religious minority groups and other members of civil society, as well as on temples, mosques and churches.

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said an economic boom in the post-war north could help reconciliation and many allegations by the West and international rights agencies are are spread by Tamil diaspora groups.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora