Can the UN Security Council investigate alleged laws of war violations committed during the conflict in Sri Lanka?
Given the poor record of Sri Lanka with regard to conducting impartial and timely investigations into serious violations of the laws of war by its security forces, Human Rights Watch is calling upon the UN Security Council to establish a commission of inquiry to investigate alleged violations by all sides in connection with the recent fighting in the Vanni. This would be similar to commissions of inquiry that the Security Council has authorized with respect to other conflicts, such as in Darfur or the former Yugoslavia. The Darfur commission led to the above-mentioned referral to the ICC; the Yugoslav one led to the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Reports prepared by these commissions, made up of international experts, included fact-finding on abuses and recommendations to ensure accountability. Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has the greatest stature and authority to establish an investigative mechanism. Given that the Securit