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Amnesty calls US to investigate Rajapaksa
London based Human Rights Organisation, Amnesty International on Thursday urged the United States to launch a war crimes investigation into Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

President Bush with President Rajapaksa
Amnesty also calls for investigation on war crimes allegations against President Bush

The President is on a private visit to the country.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Amnesty International has accused both the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tigers of war crimes in the final months of the conflict that ended in 2009.

Private visit

Amnesty says that the US has an obligation under international law to investigate Rajapaksa as he was commander-in-chief of a military accused of human rights violations.

President Rajapaksa left for the US on Wednesday with a group of twenty including the Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris for what his officials said was a private visit.

Thousands of victims

"Thousands of victims in Sri Lanka demand accountability for the abuses they've suffered from the Sri Lankan security forces as well as armed groups such as the Tigers," Amnesty's Asia Pacific director Sam Zarifi said in a statement from London.

Speaking to the BBC, government member of parliament, Rajiva Wijesinghe dismissed the accusations against the government. “They have to have clear evidence of any abuse before accusing a Head of State”.

US action unlikely

He also said that it is highly unlikely that the president will be investigated during his trip.

“United States has not signed any of these conventions because of obvious reasons. When it comes to war crimes, certain actions are justified because they suffered from terrorism. The whole world knows that they have done things they don’t want to be held accountable for. So the idea that US will take action is not a serious one”. Said the MP.

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