February 11, 2015 / 10:54 PM / in 3 years

Sri Lanka says seeking delay in U.N. war-crimes report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said on Wednesday his country was seeking a delay of several months in the release of a U.N. report on alleged war crimes during his country’s civil war until the government had time to establish a mechanism to deal with the issue.

In March last year, the U.N. Human Rights Council voted to look into reports of abuses during the Sri Lankan civil war, saying the Sri Lankan government had failed to investigate properly. The U.N. report is due out on March 25.

“Once the report is finalized, we are hoping they can refer it to our domestic mechanism for action,” Samaraweera told reporters during a visit to Washington. “We are hoping they could hold on to it until our mechanism is in place – maybe August, you know, or so.”

U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville declined comment earlier on Wednesday when asked about the possibility of a delay in the report, but when pressed, said it was still scheduled for release on March 25.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Sandra Maler

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