LONDON, (AFP) – Amnesty International yesterday urged the United States to launch a war crimes investigation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is on a private visit to the country.

Rights groups have accused both the Sri Lankan military and the separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas of war crimes in the final months of their decades-long conflict that ended in 2009.

Amnesty said in a statement the US had an obligation under international law to investigate Rajapaksa as commander-in-chief of a military accused of rights violations.

President Rajapaksa left for the US on Wednesday with External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris for what his officials said was a private visit.

“Thousands of victims in Sri Lanka demand accountability for the abuses they’ve suffered from the Sri Lankan security forces as well as armed groups such as the Tigers,” Amnesty’s Asia-Pacific director Sam Zarifi said in a statement from London.

Frivolous says President’s spokesman

Commenting on the request by Amnesty International to the US government to launch an investigation on alleged war crimes on President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is on a private visit to the US, Presidential Media Unit Director General Bandula Jayasekera said it was “frivolous and mischievous.”

Source: Daily Mirror – 21.01.2011