A US Congressional committee on Thursday voted to ban aid to Sri Lanka over its dubious human rights records.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the measure, which will ban all American funding to Sri Lanka except for humanitarian aid. The panel said Colombo must show accountability over the bloodshed in the final stages of civil war in 2009.
The move comes after Headlines Today aired an acclaimed Channel 4 documentary showing genocide and war crimes by Lankan forces. The documentary was later screened at the Capitol Hill for US Congressmen.
The US aid to Sri Lanka would resume only when Obama administration certifies that it has made progress on key issues. Sri Lanka would be required to improve its records on probe into human rights violations and war crimes to score on the US scale.
It would also have to allow freedom to press and come clean of thousands still missing since the end of the civil war. The US Agency for International Development had requested around $13 million for Sri Lanka in the 2010 fiscal year.
Sri Lanka however has been denying the civilian deaths and mass executions depicted in the documentary. Meanwhile, US lawmakers and rights advocates stepped up calls for an international probe into Sri Lanka's civil war.
Amnesty International (government relations) managing director Adotei Akwei said, "I think the screening of the documentary was probably very shocking and new and powerful in terms of raising
awareness within Congress. There were terrible abuses committed by both the Tamil Tigers as well as the Sri Lankan government."
"This is why we are calling for an independent commission of inquiry be established by the United Nations. This is not to usurp or replace a national initiative in Sri Lanka but to add to it, to complement to it so that in the end there is true justice, accountability and those are ingredients that are essential for reconciliation going forward," he said.
By: The angry misanthropist
In: World News
Tags: Tamil Tigers, Sri Lanka, US Aid, anti US hate, murder, massacre, brutality
Location: Sri Lanka (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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