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Sri Lanka called to mat on war crimes

GENEVA, Switzerland, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The United Nations needs to put more pressure on Sri Lanka to bring suspected war crimes suspects to justice, Human Rights Watch said.

A report, released last weekend by a panel convened by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, highlights atrocities committed in the final months of Sri Lanka's armed conflict with the Tamil Tigers.

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Human rights groups accuse the Tamil Tiger rebel group and the Sri Lankan government of violations of the laws of war during the 25-year conflict. Thousands of people were killed in 2009 when government forces defeated Tamil rebels.

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement, that the U.N. Human Rights Council should order a full international investigation into Sri Lankan crimes considering the civilian death toll.

The rights group notes that the U.N. panel called on Sri Lanka to investigate the crimes but noted that the government repeatedly rejected claims of atrocities.

"The U.N. Human Rights Council should tell the government that time is running out," said Adams. "If the Sri Lankan government won't provide justice for victims, the international community will."

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