Jan 29, London: The UK government says that Sri Lanka's domestic Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed to address the reconciliation and accountability issues does not meet international standards.
Responding to the question raised on Sri Lanka in the UK parliament, the British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Hugo Swire said that any process Sri Lanka established to this date to investigate the accountability and allegations of human rights violations does not meet the criteria set by the UK.
"We have also highlighted that any domestic process should be credible, independent and transparent to be accepted by the international community. We do not believe that any of the processes established to date by the Sri Lankan Government- such as the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission - meet these standards," Swire said.
Responding to MP Stephen Timms who asked what recent assessment Swire has made of the likelihood of a credible domestic process beginning by March 2014, the FCO Minister noted that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay in her September 2013 oral statement to the UN Human Rights Council has said that she had "detected no new or comprehensive efforts to investigate" alleged war crimes during her visit to Sri Lanka.
He recalled that the UK Prime Minister at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo in November made clear to Sri Lankan President that unless a credible national accountability process has begun properly by March 2014, UK will use its position on the UNHRC to call for an international investigation.
Swire said if Sri Lanka begins a genuine and credible process properly by March 2014, the UK will "give it our full support."
The Sri Lankan government has flatly rejected Cameron's call for an independent investigation and the March 2014 deadline saying that Sri Lanka has already set mechanisms in place to address the issues the PM raised and will take more than four years to achieve resolutions to the issues from a 30-year war.