COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka on Sunday rejected growing calls to probe human rights violations amid allegations that thousands of civilians perished in the final battle against Tamil separatists.
Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said organisations calling for investigations had ulterior motives, and dismissed demands for independent probes into the final phase of Sri Lankas war against Tamil separatists.
Those who give various civilian casualty figures and call for these probes must have ulterior motives, Abeywardena told reporters here.
He said the government itself was in the process of assessing the civilian casualties, but gave no figures.
Our officials knew how many people were in the (war zone) area and we are taking a tally on the number of people now in the IDP (internally displaced persons) camps, Abeywardena said.
His remarks came a day after the London-based rights group, Amnesty International, called for an independent probe into the number of civilians killed while government forces crushed Tamil Tiger rebels two weeks ago.
Amnesty also urged the United Nations to reveal its own estimates for civilian casualties.
The rights groups Asia Pacific director Sam Zarifi accused both sides of war crimes and called for an independent international probe.
Sri Lanka rejected the Times report as way out and managed last week to defeat a censure move by Western nations before the UN human rights council in Geneva.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka appealed Sunday for international support in dismantling the global political network of the Tamil Tiger rebels after declaring a full military victory over the separatist movement.
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told a high-level security forum in Singapore that Colombo needed help in disabling the Tigers powerful political lobbies in certain capitals that are seeking to resurrect the movement.
It is important for the international community to take all measures to assist the government of Sri Lanka, to track down the global network of the LTTE, Bogollagama said.
Speaking at the forum organised by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, Bogollagama also rejected allegations of genocide in the last days of the Sri Lankan militarys battle against the LTTE.
This was both fictional and well-fabricated, with ulterior and sinister motives in order to discredit the armed forces as well as to embarrass the government of Sri Lanka, he said.
There have been allegations that large numbers of civilians had been killed as the Sri Lankan army closed in on the rebels to end the decades-long war.
Rights group Amnesty International on Saturday called for an independent probe into the number of civilian deaths.
Sri Lanka will, no doubt, enter the annals of history as a classic textbook example of a nation that successfully prevailed over the scourge of terrorism, whilst tenaciously upholding the cherished values of democracy and human rights that have been deeply engraved in the psyche of our people, he said.
The LTTEs fall would also strike a blow to international terrorism, the minister said.
The elimination of the LTTE from Sri Lanka as a terror organisation would prevent other facets of terrorism, such as money laundering, narcotics trafficking, human smuggling, arms smuggling, and other means of terrorist networking the world over .
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Bogollagama also emphasised the importance of the immediate post-war actions taken by the government.
This post-conflict phase is crucial in restoring confidence in people.
We know these chances wont come all the time, and some chances only come once, and this is one such chance that we have got, and we will not miss out on this opportunity.
He said the rehabilitation and resettlement of the 280,000 refugees displaced by the conflict was one of the key priorities of the Sri Lankan government, promising they would be treated fairly.
The government is firmly committed to reaching a political settlement acceptable to all.
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Well have an inclusive process in this regard, and well have everyone who is conscious of our country onboard irrespective whatever ethnic identity one might have by birth.
The LTTE launched a bloody campaign in 1972 to create a Tamil homeland in the Sinhalese-majority island.
Much of its funding came from Tamil communities overseas.