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date: 18 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In spite of the adoption of the responsibility to protect (R2P) by the Sri Lankan government in 2005, both Sri Lankan and LTTE forces killed thousands of civilians during the conclusion of the civil war. In this chapter, it is shown that these atrocities occurred in large part due to existing international political dynamics, which were focused on the War on Terror, and a shortage of information on what was occurring in the conflict zone. This facilitated states in supporting the government, while diminishing criticism from others that may have been more supportive of the invocation of R2P. Yet following the conflict, with increased information on the crisis, subsequent initiatives taken by the international community have endeavoured to obtain accountability, justice, and to prevent such atrocities from occurring in the future. These initiatives have strengthened the UN’s ability to implement R2P; however, ongoing challenges remain.

Keywords: Sri Lanka, responsibility to protect, United Nations, Human Rights Council, Rights Up Front

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