The United Nations Human Rights Council deserves a big applause for having passed the resolution--moved by the United States, the United Kingdom, Montenegro, Macedonia and Mauritius-- calling on its High Commissioner to investigate allegations of war crimes by all sides during the Sri Lankan civil war that ended in 2009, resulting in the deaths of as many as 40,000 civilians. The resolution, passed with 23 votes in favor, 12 against and 12 abstentions at its just-concluded 25th session in Geneva, asks Colombo to address all rights concerns, make progress towards a political settlement and support reconciliation for all its people.

It is high time indeed that the world, and citizens of Sri Lanka in particular, know what really happened during the island nation’s war and that those responsible for its bloodshed are held to account . According to a report by a panel of experts appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, both parties of the war had been inhuman in their conduct during the conflict. The Sri Lankan forces engaged in widespread abuses, including indiscriminate shelling of civilians, summary executions and rape. On the other hand, the Tamil Tigers held civilians as human shields, used child soldiers, and killed families who tried to flee.

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