The Americans Draft Resolution On Sri Lanka
(By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema) The US had last week handed copies of a draft resolution to be presented on Sri Lanka at the 19th sessions of the UN Human Right Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva, Switzerland. The draft was handed out to members of the diplomatic community.Sri Lanka has asked that this matter be deferred until October and taken up at the Universal Periodic Review.
The US draft resolution:
1. Calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations in the LLRC report and additionally to take immediate steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations.
The draft further maintains that guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights, and other relevant instruments, that States must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism complies with their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.
The document acknowledges that the Report of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and its findings and recommendations, could have a possible contribution to Sri Lanka’s national reconciliation process. The draft states that it welcomes the constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC report, including the need to credibly investigate widespread allegations of extra judicial killings and enforced disappearances, demilitarise the north of Sri Lanka, 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.
The draft document however expresses concern that the LLRC report does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law and expresses serious disappointment that the Government of Sri Lanka has not fulfilled its relevant legal obligations and stated commitment to initiate credible and independent investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for such violations.