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Sri Lanka to seek additional time to investigate war crimes

[JURIST] The Sri Lankan [official website] Foreign Minster [official website] said Wednesday that the country will petition the UN for more time to investigate the allegations of war crimes occurring during the country's 26-year-long civil war [BBC country profile]. Sri Lanka promised the UN in 2015 to investigate the estimated 65,000 missing peoples from the civil war with the Tamil Tigers. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera communicated that the government would seek an extension at the next UN human rights session that begins at the end of this month.

The global community has been calling on the Sri Lankan government to create more accountability, most recently since the end of the Sri Lankan civil war. Last month a Sri Lankan panel of the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms recommended the appointment of a hybrid court composed of local and international judges to oversee the adjudication of allegations of war crimes committed during the nation's civil war [JURIST report]. Late last year the UN Independent Expert on minority issues, Rita Izsák-Ndiaye urged the Sri Lankan government to better protect minorities [JURIST report]. The UN released a report in 2015 finding that war crimes may have been committed [JURIST report] during the war. Later in 2015 the President of Sri Lanka rejected [JURIST report] a UN recommendation for international involvement in its domestic investigation of the war crimes.

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