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Commemorating the Fourth Anniversary of the End of the Civil War in Sri Lanka

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. JOHNSON of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka on May 18, 2009.

The last stages of the war were met with grave allegations of war crimes, including the Sri Lankan Government's treatment of Tamil civilians within no-fire zones--attacks that were a blatant violation of human rights.

As a result of the ensuing international outrage, Sri Lanka established a commission of inquiry to investigate the events of the 26-year civil war. However, this commission had no accountability and yielded little explanation for the families, the victims, or the international community.

We are left with the task of identifying what really happened during the last years of this terrible civil war and to hold accountable those who have committed war crimes. We also face the challenge of brokering peace in a country torn apart by civil war.

I urge the Government of Sri Lanka to demonstrate commitment towards reconciliation and promote human rights, particularly before hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November.

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