Allegations persist that rival sides used excessive force during the civil war
Thousands of Sri Lankans joined government-backed protests earlier this week to demonstrate against a proposed United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on alleged human rights abuses during the closing phase of the country's prolonged civil war.
For more than three decades, Sri Lanka was ripped apart by a bloody and bitter civil war that pitted the Tamil Tiger rebels mainly in the northern provinces against the Colombo government.
In the closing phase of that war, allegations persist that both sides used excessive force and human shields, treating each side with reckless abandon and with a complete disregard above and beyond the norms of warfare.
The government of President Mahinda Rajapakse has been steadfast in its claims that it acted in an appropriate fashion, and that any abuse that occurred was at the hands of the LTTE rebels. But contradictory evidence — including video footage released last year — suggest that there were abuses on both sides.