Sri Lanka Civil War Report Heads to UN Rights Council

Posted September 12th, 2011 at 9:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has sent a report about alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka's recent civil war to the president of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The report, published in April by a panel of U.N.-appointed experts, cites “credible” evidence of Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels committing human rights violations in the final months of the 25-year war that ended in May 2009 with a rebel defeat.

The report estimates that thousands of Tamil civilians were killed by the end of the conflict and calls for an international investigation of the allegations.

The Human Rights Council must agree to debate the report before it can give Mr. Ban a mandate to launch such an investigation.

Sri Lanka has rejected the report's findings and said it opposes an outside investigation. The government in Colombo has appointed its own commission to investigate the civil war and is expected to publish its findings in mid-November.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake on Monday discussed the status of Sri Lanka's investigation with the country's President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo. Blake also held talks with a leader of Sri Lanka's major Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance.