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Ban calls on Sri Lanka to allow inquiry

UNITED NATIONS, June 2 (UPI) -- The head of the United Nations is calling on the Sri Lankan government to support an inquiry into alleged abuses during its conflict with rebels.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the U.N. General Assembly in New York Monday following his trip to Sri Lanka, said the casualties during the conflict between the government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was "unacceptably high," the United Nations reported.

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Ban backed a call by Navi Pillay, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, who is pushing for the Sri Lankan government to support an inquiry into alleged human rights abuses as part of an effort to increase transparency and help the country move forward.

"There are strong reasons to believe that both sides have grossly disregarded the fundamental principle of the inviolability of civilians," Pillay said in a statement.

An "independent and credible international investigation into recent events should be dispatched to ascertain the occurrence, nature and scale of violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law, as well as specific responsibilities."

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