The civil war in Sri Lanka has seen government forces indiscriminately shell the north and Tamil Tiger rebels fire on people trying to flee.
After an estimated 10,000 civilian deaths or injuries in only two months, the U.N. has called on the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels to immediately suspend fighting, suggesting that actions by both parties may constitute violations of international human rights law.
Actions by Sri Lanka’s government and the Tamil Tiger rebels may amount to war crimes, the United Nations says.
“Certain actions being undertaken by the Sri Lankan military and by the LTTE [Tigers] may constitute violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,” said [U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay].
She accused government forces of repeatedly shelling safe zones set up to protect civilians.
Tamil Tigers, she said, had reportedly held civilians as human shields and fired on those who tried to flee.