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.