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UN adopts resolution for Sri Lanka war crimes probe

March 22, 2012

Sri Lanka's ruling party lawmakers hold banners and shout slogans during a protest outside the parliament complex, denouncing the UN resolution calling on Sri Lanka to probe wartime rights abuses in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, March 22, 2012.—AFP Photo

GENEVA: The United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution Thursday urging Sri Lanka to “credibly investigate” allegations of violations during the war against Tamil Tiger separatists in 2009.

The US-led resolution was adopted with 24 votes in favour, 15 against and eight abstentions.

Tabling the resolution, the United States said Colombo had been given three years to hold its own investigations into allegations of serious violations, but “given the lack of action... it is appropriate” that the 47-member state council pushed it to do so.

“An enduring peace will be unsustainable without meaningful steps to foster national reconciliation and accountability,” said US envoy Eileen Donahoe.

“It is a resolution that encourages Sri Lanka to ... make concerted efforts at achieving the kind of meaningful accountability upon which lasting reconciliation efforts can be built.” Unlike in the immediate aftermath of the conflict when it staved off a similar resolution at the Human Rights Council, Colombo was unable this time to lobby sufficient support to defeat the Western-led move.

Its ally India was among countries voting in favour of the resolution.