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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-11-18 15:52:43
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Commonwealth nations to help postwar Sri Lanka

November 18, 2013 - Leaders including South Africa's president said on Sunday that they are ready to help Sri Lanka achieve postwar healing, as the island nation closed a Commonwealth summit held amid international outcry over its human rights record. The summit was dogged by constant attention to Sri Lanka's refusal to allow international inquiries into alleged atrocities committed during and after its 27-year civil war, which ended in 2009. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said his troops committed no abuses during or since the country's brutal civil war against ethnic Tamils fighting for a homeland in the island's north. Rajapaksa has also said his country's institutions are actively processing mounting abuse complaints that include reports of missing people, attacks against journalists and harassment of government critics. ``It will take time,'' he said during a news conference closing the summit. ``We have to change the minds and thinking of the people, not only in the north, but in the south, too.'' Rajapaksa's government has staunchly refused international calls for an independent inquiry, seeing it as an invasion into domestic matters. On Saturday, British Prime Minister David Cameron gave Sri Lanka a March deadline for showing progress on postwar reconciliation, after which he said he would press the issue with the United Nations. (Source: AP)


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