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Investigation reveals possible war crimes during Sri Lanka civil war

The Public Interest Advocacy Center (PIAC) [advocacy website], an Australian nonprofit legal advocacy group, released a report [press release] on Tuesday detailing possible war crimes and crimes against humanity during the final months of the Sri Lankan civil war [JURIST news archive]. The reports findings will be incorporated into an upcoming meeting of the UN Human Rights Council [official website] sponsored by the US. The report, which was conducted by PIAC's International Crimes Evidence Project, details indiscriminate bombing in civilian areas, denial of humanitarian assistance, extrajudicial killings, sexual violence and enforced disappearance and calls for an international investigation.

The report comes amid mounting pressure on the Sri Lankan government from human rights groups and the international community [NYT report] to investigate and prosecute abuses during the conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) [CFR backgrounder]. Last month US ambassador Stephen Rapp [official profile] called on [JURIST report] Sri Lanka to investigate rights abuses by security forces during the civil war. In November UK Prime Minister David Cameron demanded [JURIST report] that the Sri Lankan government conduct its own investigation into war crime allegations. In September, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on [JURIST report] Sri Lanka to improve its human rights record. In May, Human Rights Watch said that there has been no progress [JURIST report] regarding respect for basic rights and liberties in the four years since the end of the country's civil war.

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