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US senate backs international war crimes probe
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(File photo) Fifty three school girls were killed, along with three staff, on August 14, 2006, when Sri Lankan air force jets dropped sixteen bombs on an orphanage in Vanni. The GPS coordinates of the orphanage and other civilian establishments in Vanni, including hospitals, had been provided to Colombo via the International Red Cross. All the hospitals and many other listed sites were subsequently bombed or shelled by Sri Lankan forces. Photo TamilNet.

The US Senate on Monday was unanimous in passing a resolution calling for an international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka.

The Senate also called on President Obama to draw up a "a comprehensive policy towards Sri Lanka that reflects US interests including respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, economic interests, and security interests."

(See full text of the resolution here)

The Senate said it,

1. commends United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for creating the three-person panel to advise the Secretary-General on the implementation of the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to human rights accountability;

2. calls on the Government of Sri Lanka, the international community, and the United Nations to establish an independent international accountability mechanism to look into reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations committed by both sides during and after the war in Sri Lanka and to make recommendations regarding accountability;

3. calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to allow humanitarian organizations, aid agencies, journalists, and international human rights groups greater freedom of movement, including in internally-displaced persons camps;

and

4. calls upon the [US] President to develop a comprehensive policy towards Sri Lanka that reflects United States interests, including respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, economic interests, and security interests.

 
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