HRW accuses Lankan govt. of doing nothing in 7 year old charity workers massacre case

Washington, August 1 (ANI): Human Rights Watch (HRW) has blamed the Sri Lankan government for not punishing the gunmen who executed 17 aid workers seven years ago, despite renewed international calls for action.

On August 4, 2006, gunmen had executed 17 Sri Lankan aid workers, including 16 ethnic Tamils and a Muslim, with the Paris-based international humanitarian agency Action Against Hunger (ACF) in their office compound of Mutur in eastern Trincomalee district.

The ACF team had been providing assistance to survivors of the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

The killings had occurred after a several-day battle between government forces and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for control of the town.

The University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) has reported that two police constables and naval special forces commandos were directly responsible, and that senior police and justice officials were linked to an alleged cover-up.

The Sri Lankan government has had a poor record of investigating serious human rights abuses.

The UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka in late August.

HRW has repeated its call for the UN secretary-general to create an independent international investigation into violations by government forces and the LTTE.

This investigation should make recommendations for the prosecution of those responsible for serious abuses during the armed conflict, including the ACF case. (ANI)

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