Sri Lanka War Crimes Report Released
October 30th, 2009
The US State Department released its Report to Congress on Incidents During the Recent Conflict in Sri Lanka on October 22. The report details violations of the laws of war committed by both government forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from January through May 2009.
The report is a sobering chronicle of the horrors of war and points to the need for a more thorough independent, international investigation.
The Office of War Crimes Issues of the State Department prepared the Congressionally-mandated report on possible war crimes committed during the final months of the 26-year-long civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. This civil conflict ended in May with the defeat of the LTTE and the death of most of its leadership. The report details alleged incidents of LTTE child recruitment, attacks by the government and the LTTE on civilians and civilian structures, the killing of captives or combatants by government forces, enforced disappearances by government forces and government-supported paramilitaries, and severe shortages of food, medicine, and clean water for civilians trapped in the war zone.
The report was presented to Congress on October 21 and was released the following day on the US State Department website.