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Sri Lankan government supporters demonstrate prior to the vote by the U.N. Human Rights Council

The U.N. Human Rights Council voted Thursday to open an international investigation into the alleged war crimes committed by government forces and the Tamil Tiger rebel group during the long and bloody civil war that ended in 2009, the New York Times reports.

The approval comes after years of mounting pressure and several U.S.-led resolutions criticizing the Sri Lankan government for the lack of progress in the investigations of such crimes, which include the shelling of civilians, summary executions, blocking food and aid to civilians and recruiting child soldiers.

The government in Colombo has vehemently refused all calls for an external investigation.

The probe will have an open-ended mandate and will focus on the bloody end-game of the decades-long war from 2002 to 2009.

[New York Times]

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