Backed by 14 lakh Indians, Amnesty seeks Sri Lanka probe

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Amnesty International Friday gave a petition to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed by 14 lakh Indians seeking an independent probe into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka.

Amnesty India chief executive G Ananthapadmanabhan handed over the petition to V. Narayanasamy, the minister of state in the Prime Minister's Office.

"This petition represents the voices of 14 lakh ordinary Indian citizens asking India to play a stronger role in seeking justice in Sri Lanka," Ananthapadmanabhan said.

"This is a demand for an end to the impunity for past and present human rights violations in Sri Lanka," he added.

The petition, addressed to the prime minister, urges him to stand up for justice in Sri Lanka and to act to end the climate of impunity perpetuated by Colombo, Amnesty said.

The petition asks the Indian government to support an independent international investigation into allegations of crimes under international law committed by the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers.

It also seeks a UN-led mechanism to monitor the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, and asks Colombo to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and also end attacks and intimidation of critics.

Over the past eight months, Amnesty International has used integrated voice enabling and response mechanism and SMS to campaign for justice in Sri Lanka.

The petition follows widespread allegations that the Sri Lankan military killed tens of thousands of innocent Tamils in the war that vanquished the Tamil Tigers in May 2009.



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