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Sri Lankan monks pray against call to investigate war crimes

March 19, 2012 |  6:30 pm

Buddhist monks in Colombo, Sri Lanka, before a prayer session to denounce a proposed U.N. Human Rights Council resolution

Every day on WorldNow we choose a remarkable photo from around the world. Today we spotted this vivid shot of Buddhist monks gathering in Sri Lanka, pushing against calls to investigate alleged war crimes.

Three years after the end of a lengthy civil war, Sri Lanka is facing new calls from human rights groups and other nations, including the United States, to bring people responsible for wartime abuses to justice.

Sri Lankan officials have denounced a proposed United Nations Human Rights Council resolution that calls for the country to hold people accountable for alleged war crimes, saying it could foster terrorism.

Tamil Tiger rebels fought for decades for a separate state for the Tamil people before being defeated three years ago. U.N. action “would only lead to derailing the ongoing reconciliation process that has been put in place by the government,” Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris wrote to retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has called for the U.N. resolution on Sri Lanka to be passed.

Hundreds of Buddhist monks, including the orange-robed men seen here, along with Hindu, Muslim and Christian clergy, held a ceremony in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Monday praying for the resolution to be defeated, the Associated Press reported.

The ceremony reportedly included a statement that “evil forces both local and international have joined hands to deprive Sri Lanka of the present environment of peace ... and take this blessed island back to an era of darkness.”

The Sri Lanka resolution is expected to come before the U.N. Human Rights Council this week.

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-- Emily Alpert in Los Angeles

Photo: Buddhist monks in Colombo, Sri Lanka, before a prayer session Monday to denounce the proposed U.N. Human Rights Council resolution on alleged rights abuses during the country's civil war. Credit: Gemunu Amarasinghe / Associated Press

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