Sri Lanka to probe alleged abuses by military

AFP-JIJI

Sri Lanka announced Thursday an investigation into its military over allegations of rights abuses, following intense international pressure for a war-crimes probe into the island’s decadeslong ethnic conflict.

President Mahinda Rajapakse said a current government-appointed Commission of Inquiry (COI) would be expanded to probe the military and Tamil rebels over abuses allegedly committed during their war that ended in 2009.

Rajapakse also announced three foreign war crimes experts had been appointed to the commission to act as advisers during the probe.

British lawyers Desmond de Silva and Geoffrey Nice and U.S. law professor David Crane are all former U.N. war crimes prosecutors.

Under pressure over the military’s alleged abuses, Colombo set up the COI last year, but only to trace the thousands of mainly ethnic minority Tamils who went missing during and immediately after the separatist conflict.