The UN Human Rights Council has voted for a resolution which paves the way for an inquiry into rights abuses at the close of Sri Lanka's civil war.
The US and the UK were among the countries which sponsored a resolution which for the first time explicitly calls for an international probe.
Sri Lanka's army defeated separatist Tamil Tiger rebels after 26 years of bloody civil war in May 2009.
Both sides have been accused of committing war crimes.
But it is events in the final phase of the war that has come under scrutiny, with one UN report saying that as many as 40,000 Tamil civilians may have been killed, mostly by government shelling in those final months.
Sri Lanka has consistently denied such allegations and says it is being unfairly targeted. It also claims that Tamil rebels are attempting to regroup in the north of the country.
But the resolution calls for a "comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka"...read more.
-Feature image courtesy of BBC News Asia