South Asia

Sri Lanka sees protests over war crime resolution in UNHRC

Sri Lankan government supporters from the former northern war zone area wave the national flags and shout protest slogans outside the U.S. embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Thursday.

Sri Lankan government supporters from the former northern war zone area wave the national flags and shout protest slogans outside the U.S. embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Thursday.  

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A group of pro-government protesters in Sri Lanka on Thursday staged noisy demonstrations outside the U.N. office and the embassies of the U.S. and Britain here to protest a resolution against the country at the UNHRC over its alleged rights abuses during the ethnic war with Tamil Tiger rebels.

In the eastern Trincomalee city, government offices, schools, shops and banks were shut and public transportation was halted.

Organisers said all communities joined in the protest in the multi-ethnic town as protesters burnt effigy of U.N. rights chief Navy Pillay and U.S. President Barack Obama.

The protesters in Colombo called the proposed U.N. Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka a gross interference in the country’s internal affairs.

The placards read “Hands off Sri Lanka” and “Do not disturb peace after 30 years of war”.

The U.N. Human Rights Council resolution, sponsored by the U.S., is the third in as many years on Sri Lanka’s accountability and reconciliation with the Tamil minority after the end of the 37-year ethnic conflict.

Up to 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed at the end of the separatist war in 2009, rights groups and U.N. experts have said.

Sri Lanka has long resisted calls for an international investigation calling its own domestic processes were credible enough to deal with the allegations of civilian deaths.

The resolution is to be voted next week in Geneva.

The country’s opposition blames the government for using the resolution for domestic political gain.

The government claims that President Mahinda Rajapaksa might be tried by the International Criminal Court.

Demonstrations are meant to shore up public support for Mr. Rajapaksa.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:17:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/sri-lanka-sees-protests-over-war-crime-resolution-in-unhrc/article5809949.ece

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