Sri Lanka Vehemently Rejects Inquiry Into War Crimes

The government says the probe call reflects a ‘preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda’

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© Dinuka Liyanawatte / Reuters

In the former war zone in Mannar, the discovery of a mass grave containing more than 30 skulls has fuelled speculation that there may be many more like it.

Sri Lanka has rejected a call for an international investigation into the war crimes allegedly committed in the country’s bloody civil war, saying it was “tantamount to an unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.”

The call, made in a report by U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay, precedes next month’s release of a U.N. Human Rights Council review of Sri Lanka’s progress — or lack of — in investigating the alleged crimes.

Both the Sri Lankan military and the rebel Tamil Tigers are accused of committing crimes including shelling civilians, summary executions, blocking food and aid to civilians and recruiting child soldiers.

It is expected that the U.N. Human Rights Council will consider a resolution establishing an independent international investigation at a meeting in March if no progress is made before then.

As many as 40,000 Tamil civilians may have died in Sri Lanka’s bloody civil conflict, which ended in 2009.