As an estimated 8000 protestors gathered outside Marlborough House to demonstrate against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, it was reported that inside, British Prime Minister David Cameron also discussed the issue of war crimes with Rajapaksa.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman Craig Oliver told Channel 4 that,
“The Prime Minister raised the issue of making sure that allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka were properly investigated”.
Earlier, reports from “senior sources” to The Times indicated that the British Prime Minister would also warn Rajapaksa of potential boycott of the 2013 CHOGM, currently scheduled to be held in Colombo, unless there was speedier action on issues such as demilitarisation and devolving power.
Meanwhile, Sri Lankan Presidential spokesperson Bandula Jayasekara told the Daily Mirror that a “cordial” meeting on “development in the country” was held, and told the Colombo Gazette that details of the discussion were not yet available.
Welcoming the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ reiteration of the need for international participation in the accountability mechanisms, the leader of the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam highlighted that Sri Lanka had “stridently been backtracking on this most fundamental matter for a credible accountability process,
Several of Sri Lanka’s key commitments to the United Nations Human Rights Council remain unfulfilled said Human Rights Watch during the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ oral update on Sri Lanka’s progress in implementing resolution 30/1 on accountability and reconciliation.
Noting that Sri Lanka had ”at times backtracked on its commitments on the judicial mechanism for investigating war crimes and other serious rights abuses by both sides,
The Human Rights Council and OHCHR need to ensure that Sri Lank abides by the terms of Resolution 30/1, particularly on the need for international participation in any accountability mechanism, said People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL).
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is currently evaluating Sri Lanka for a threshold program that can potentially provide millions of dollars in assistance for economic reforms announced US Ambassador to Sri Lanka,