As the Syrian government agrees to allow UN inspectors to visit the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack, the organisation’s human rights commissioner, Navi Pillay, has arrived in Sri Lanka for a fact-finding mission in areas scarred by that country’s long and bloody civil war.
The UN has said that at least 40,000 civilians, mainly Tamils, died in the final months of the conflict in 2009 as the Tamil Tigers were finally defeated. The government was accused of shelling hospitals and refugee camps, but it has resisted international calls for the allegations to be investigated.
Over the last two years, the UN Human Rights Council has passed two resolutions demanding that Sri Lanka launch an independent investigation, while Canada has called for a boycott of a Commonwealth summit scheduled to take place in Colombo in November.
Ms Pillay is expected to hold meetings with members of the Tamil community as well as with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, before reporting back to the UN.