UN rights body renews accountability mandate for Sri Lanka

GENEVA, Oct 6 (Reuters) - The U.N. rights body on Thursday agreed to renew a resolution on Sri Lanka that mandates monitors to collect evidence and develop accountability strategies on gross human rights violations despite intense criticism from several countries including China and Pakistan.

The resolution brought by Britain, Canada, the United States and others passed with 20 votes in favour and 7 against. It called on Sri Lanka to make more progress towards establishing a credible investigation into alleged war crimes during the civil war that ended in 2009 and promote demilitarisation of the island's north and eastern regions.

It also called for the government to investigate and prosecute former and current public officials who triggered the island's worst financial crisis in more than seven decades plunging the 22 million population into soaring inflation, currency depreciation and severe food and fuel shortages. (Reporting by Emma Farge and Uditha Jayasinghe in Colombo)