Colombo: Sri Lanka has blamed the “pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora" for backing the genocide charge against the government as the country prepares to celebrate the eighth anniversary of the end of the three-decade long civil war.

On 12 May, the Tamil nationalists started a week-long commemoration of what they termed the genocide of Tamils. Northern provincial council members held events in parts of the north to remember the victims of the bitter conflict by lighting oil lamps. “We want to commemorate the genocide of over 1,00,000 Tamils in 2009," M.K. Shivajilingam, a northern provincial councillor and a hardline Tamil representative had said. “We need an international investigation into genocide," he said.

Meanwhile,deputy defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene dismissed the genocide charge as an accusation by Shivajilingam at the behest of the pro-LTTE diaspora. He is seeking support from the diaspora to carry out false propaganda, Wijewardene said, adding that government troops had not carried out any genocide of Tamils. “Shivajilingam must be glad the government troops have been able to free the Tamils from clutches of terrorism," Wijewardena said. Both Sri Lankan troops and the LTTE were accused of grave human rights abuses during the final phase of the conflict, which ended in May 2009.

The UN Human Rights Council, which passed three successive resolutions on the need to investigate war crimes, has prescribed an international hybrid court. Sri Lanka is averse to allow an international probe, citing the lack of constitutional provisions for foreign judges to operate in the country.