War crimes inquiry urged in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s main opposition party on Thursday demanded that the government conduct a domestic investigation into war crimes allegations arising from a quarter-century civil war, saying long inaction has placed the nation ‘‘on a razor’s edge of devastating international action.’’

The statement from the United National party offered its support for such an inquiry.

Both the Sri Lankan government and the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels have been accused of serious human rights violations, mainly in the final months of the war that ended in 2009.


The United States has said it will sponsor a third resolution in the UN Human Rights Council in March because Sri Lanka has not shown sufficient progress in ensuring justice and accountability as recommended by a local war commission.

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US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal said during a visit this month that international patience is ‘‘wearing thin’’ and calls for an international inquiry may increase. However, contents of the resolution are still unknown.

The United National party said it asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government to ‘‘stop seeing enemies and conspirators’’ and to listen to the advice of the international community.

A UN report has said up to 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians may have been killed in the last months of the war alone and a majority of them died in government attacks.

Associated Press