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2009 Press Releases

U.S. Embassy Statement on Report to the U.S. Congress

Colombo, October 22, 2009: The United States Department of State delivered to Congressional Appropriations Committee staff yesterday a report detailing incidents that allegedly occurred during the final months of the conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the terrorist organization LTTE that may constitute violations of international humanitarian law or crimes against humanity and related harms.  The Department of State prepared the report pursuant to a Congressional request and also provided a copy to the Sri Lankan Embassy. 

The report compiles alleged incidents, as reported by a wide range of primary and secondary sources, involving both sides in the conflict.  It does not reach any legal or factual conclusions.  Information concerning the majority of incidents cited in this report originated in first-hand accounts communicated by persons from within the government-declared No Fire Zones and locations close to the fighting. 

The United States recognizes a state's inherent right to defend itself from armed attacks, including those by non-state actors, such as a terrorist group like the LTTE.  The United States also expects states and non-state actors to comply with their international legal obligations, including the obligation to protect civilians in armed conflict. 

Accountability is an essential component of national reconciliation.  The United States looks to the Government of Sri Lanka to identify an appropriate and credible mechanism and initiate a process for accountability.