U.N. launches investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka

GENEVA Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:06am EDT

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GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations on Thursday launched an inquiry into war crimes allegedly committed by both Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil rebels during their conflict that ended in 2009, saying the government had failed to investigate properly.

By a vote of 23 states in favor, 12 against (including China and Pakistan) and 12 abstentions (including India), the 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a resolution presented by the United States on behalf of countries including Britain.

"The international community has become increasingly concerned by the continued lack of progress in achieving reconciliation, justice and accountability for serious allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law," Paula Schriefer, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state, told the Geneva forum.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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