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International HR bodies refuse attending LLRC
 
Leading human rights watchdogs have declined an invitation to appear before a commission of inquiry appointed by the President of Sri Lanka.

Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission meeting in Baaticaloa Sri Lanka
LLRC recently concluded its inquiries in Batticaloa

In a statement released on Thursday announcing the refusal Amnesty International reiterated its call for an international inquiry into the evidence of war crimes and other abuses during the civil war.

'Credible attempt'

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group have said in a joint letter that Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) did not meet international standards for independent and impartial inquiries.

Sri Lanka says it is based on South Africa's Truth Commission and is a credible attempt for reconciliation.

 Any credible commission must be given adequate scope and resources to allow for individuals to receive a fair hearing and sufficient authority to ensure redress
 
Amniesty International

The International Crisis Group (ICG), Human Rights Watch (HRW), and Amnesty International (AI) said they would welcome an opportunity to appear before a genuine, credible effort on reconciliation and accountability.

"Accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka demands an independent international investigation," said Kenneth Roth, of Human Rights Watch.

The groups said President Mahinda Rajapaksa's appointment of the LLRC "was an apparent attempt to deflect calls," for an international investigation.

Both parties accused

Both the Sri Lankan government troops and the Tamil Tigers are accused of war crimes during the last stages of war.

The government has denied committing any war crimes.

Wife of former LTTE spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan at LLRC hearings
Vanitha Sivarupan told LLRC that her husband has gone missing since the military took him away in May 2009

Amnesty International's Madhu Malhotra said it is concerned about the lack of provisions for witness protection.

And "former officials who have publicly defended the Sri Lankan government against allegations of war crimes serve on the commission," she said.

The UN secretary general has appointed a panel to advise him on 'accountability issues' on Sri Lanka. Rejecting the panel, the government said it would not grant visas to UN panel members to visit Sri Lanka.

 
 
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