Sri Lanka’s top rights panel said Thursday it has concluded investigations into the murder of 17 local employees of a French charity and six other high profile cases from the island’s civil war.
The head of the probe, however, refused to say who had been found responsible for the 2006 massacre of the aid workers, which international monitors and rights groups have blamed on Sri Lankan government forces.
“We have completed seven cases, including the ACF (French charity Action Against Hunger) case, and we have asked for a date to hand over the report to the president,” Nissanka Udalagama said.
“I can’t discuss our findings because it is up to the president to decide,” he added, saying his panel would ask the president to establish a more permanent body to keep up investigations.
Reports AFP, via Google News.
In advance of Press Freedom Day, President Obama expressed his support for the ” brave men and women of the press who labor to expose truth”. AFP has a report on the statement, below are some choice excerpts.
US President Barack Obama said Friday his administration was “especially concerned” about the detention of two US journalists in North Korea and one in Iran.
“We are… especially concerned about the citizens from our own country currently under detention abroad: individuals such as Roxana Saberi in Iran, and Euna Lee and Laura Ling in North Korea,” Obama said in a statement marking World Press Freedom Day on May 3. [..]
Obama decried the jailing or active harassment of journalists that have taken place “in every corner of the globe,” including China, Cuba, Eritrea, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.
“Emblematic examples of this distressing reality are figures like J.S. Tissainayagam in Sri Lanka, or Shi Tao and Hu Jia in China,” he said.
Obama noted that since World Press Freedom Day was first celebrated in 1993, 692 journalists have been killed as they worked “to expose truth and enhance accountability around the world.” [AFP]