The Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday called for an investigation into war crimes allegations against the LTTE, starting with a probe into the role played by its former deputy leader, now a Sri Lankan deputy minister.

The New York-based rights watch group has termed “cynical” the call for probe by Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan aka Karuna, currently the deputy minister of resettlement in the UPFA coalition led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, given the minister’s alleged “prominent” role in the war crimes.

“The Sri Lankan government should act on the call by a government deputy minister to investigate war crimes by examining his own role in serious abuses,” a statement said.

Karuna’s call for war crimes investigations should not allow him to airbrush out his own role in atrocities. His LTTE forces were implicated in some of Sri Lanka’s most horrific abuses, so the government’s long-stalled war crimes investigations might as well begin with him,” HRW Asia Director Brad Adams said.