Rajapaksa urges UN to rethink humanitarian rules of war in modern day context

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Colombo, Sept 25 (ANI): Facing global criticism for alleged human rights violations during the LTTE war, Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has called for a rethink on international rules governing the conduct of war, during his address at the United Nations conference in New York City.

According to the BBC, Rajapaksa stopped short of explicitly calling for the Geneva Conventions to be changed.

"The asymmetrical nature of conflicts gives rise to serious problems which need to be considered in earnest by the international community," Rajapaksa said.

Calling the LLTE brutal, highly organised and effective, he said the Tigers had rejected attempts at dialogue with "contempt".

The Sri Lankan government has been denying all along that its side committed any war crimes.

The president said Sri Lankans had faced the "atrocities of terrorism" for decades, and that the country lost nearly 100,000 lives, and therefore, it was worth examining the capacity of international humanitarian laws to meet today's needs.

This law is embodied in the Geneva Conventions, which among other things govern how prisoners of war should be treated and how civilians should be protected in conflict. Rajapaksa believes that these laws had evolved for conflicts between states.

Lats week his attorney general went further, saying the rules of war were "inadequate" and suggesed a new protocol on combating non-state actors.

Meanwhile, diaspora groups have renewed calls for an international tribunal over the alleged war crimes committed by the security forces. (ANI)

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