US submits draft resolution against Sri Lanka to UNHRC

Friday, 9 March 2012 02:24 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Geneva: The United States Wednesday submitted the draft resolution against Sri Lanka to the United Nations Human Rights Council at its 19th session in Geneva.

The draft resolution submitted to the UN body notes the report of Sri Lanka’s domestic Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and its findings and recommendations while acknowledging its possible contribution to the country’s national reconciliation process.

The resolution welcomes the constructive recommendations made by the LLRC in its report but, it also notes with concern that the report does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international humanitarian law.

The draft resolution calls on the Sri Lankan Government to implement the constructive recommendations in the LLRC report and take all necessary additional steps to fulfil its “relevant obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans.”

It requests the Government to present a comprehensive action plan as “expeditiously as possible” detailing the steps the Government has taken and will take to implement the LLRC recommendations and also to address alleged violations of international law.

The draft resolution encourages the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and relevant special procedures to provide, and the Sri Lankan Government to accept, advice and technical assistance of implementing those steps.

It also requests the OHCHR to present a report to the UNHRC on the provision of such assistance at its 22nd session.

Sri Lanka’s special human right envoy Mahinda Samarasinghe who is currently in Japan is expected to return to Geneva next week to address the resolution.

Sri Lanka is confident that the country has enough support from the Council’s member states to fend off the resolution at the voting to be followed.

Members of the Sri Lankan delegation have already met diplomats from several countries and explained the situation in Sri Lanka to them and received support from the power houses of China, Russia and Pakistan as well as from African states, the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and the members of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Sri Lanka has stressed that the majority of the international community supports Sri Lanka’s efforts and its stand that a functioning domestic mechanism should not be circumvented by interference until its conclusion.

The LLRC report recommends the need to credibly investigate widespread allegations of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, demilitarise the North, implement impartial land dispute resolution mechanisms, re-evaluate detention policies, strengthen formerly independent civil institutions, reach a political settlement involving devolution of power to the provinces, promote and protect the right of freedom of expression for all and enact rule of law reforms.

Sri Lanka says the Government is taking measures to implement the LLRC recommendations methodically and it needs time and space to work towards reconciliation without interference from the international community.