Amnesty International Calls on Secretary Clinton to Seek Direct Answers and Push Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister for Action on Past and Continued Abuses

Press Release
May 17, 2012

Amnesty International Calls on Secretary Clinton to Seek Direct Answers and Push Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister for Action on Past and Continued Abuses

Human Rights Organization Urges U.N. to Begin Independent International Investigation as Sri Lanka Continues to Stall Efforts for Accountability

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @spksingh

(Washington, DC) – Frank Jannuzi, head of Amnesty International's Washington D.C. office, issued the following statement in advance of the bilateral meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister, G. L. Peiris on Friday, May 18, in Washington, D.C.:

"Secretary Clinton should use this meeting to follow up on her decisive action during the March session of the United Nation's Human Rights Council to press the Sri Lankan government on accountability for abuses committed during its 30-year internal conflict. Sri Lankan authorities have stated that they would conduct an internal investigation into the abuses, yet they continue to dither, refusing to bring those accountable to justice."

"The international community cannot wait while the Sri Lankan government makes empty promises amid smoke and mirrors. It must establish an independent international investigation immediately. Only then will victims have a real chance at realizing their right to truth, justice and reparations."

Amnesty International has alerted Secretary Clinton of several concerns regarding the ongoing abuses in Sri Lanka, including a sharp rise in enforced disappearances of those critical of the Sri Lankan government. There also continues a culture of impunity for alleged crimes committed at the end of the war and for earlier abuses.

In addition, Mr. Jannuzi will be presenting thousands of signed petitions to Ambassador Robert Blake, Assistant Secretary of State, South and Central Asian Affairs, urging the U.S. government to push for an international inquiry into abuses committed during the Sri Lanka conflict.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.