Sri Lanka has sought an extension of two more years from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to probe into the alleged war crimes that were committed during the three-decade long civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
In October 2015, the UNHRC had given Sri Lanka 18 months to launch a proper probe into the crimes committed during the war with LTTE. The foreign ministry of Sri Lanka however, is seeking an extension in the timeline for the fulfilment of its commitment at the International body’s 34th session.
• According to the data collected by the United Nations, around 40000 civilians were killed by Sri Lankan security forces during former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's regime, which brought an end to the long conflict after defeating LTTE in 2009.
• Sri Lanka’s proposition for an extension follows UNHRC’s criticism of the country’s slow progress in addressing its wartime past.
• In fact, earlier this month, the international body repeated its call for a hybrid court of international and local judges to investigate the allegations of human rights violations during the civil conflict.
• The demand was rejected by Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe who called it impractical.
While Sri Lanka’s main party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has demanded for more time from the UN to meet all obligations, the party’s rival groups oppose the demand saying that the TNA has excluded the opinion of the majority of Tamils and even after one and half years, the government has not made any progress in its investigation.