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Sri Lanka faces renewed pressure over war crime accountability

Ahead of UN human rights session, high commissioner demands targeted sanctions

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, center, sings the national anthem during Independence Day celebrations in Colombo on Feb. 4. Rajapaksa's government is under pressure ahead of a U.N. Human Rights Council session over issues of accountability for alleged war crimes toward the end of the country's quarter-century long armed conflict in 2009.

COLOMBO -- The Sri Lankan government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been placed in the hot seat ahead of a U.N. Human Rights Council session beginning later this month amid a failure to ensure accountability for alleged war crimes toward the end of the country's quarter-century long armed conflict.

In a stinging report released on Jan. 27, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called on the 47 member states of the U.N. Human Rights Council to impose targeted sanctions against top military officials for human rights violations and crimes against humanity after the South Asian island nation failed to ensure justice for thousands killed during the war that ended in 2009.

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