Seeing a ‘broad spectrum of recommendations’ in the so-called Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) of Sri Lanka, the delegation representing the USA at the UPR review sessions of the UN Human Rights Council on Friday continued to harp on Sri Lanka’s own LLRC, avoiding any reference to international investigations on Sri Lanka. The US position was only differeniating between the internal mechanisms of Sri Lanka, namely the National Action Plan and the LLRC.
The US statement said Colombo was lobbying other delegations to revise their UPR recommendations to exclude reference to the LLRC report after they had been orally presented.
Conceding that Sri Lanka has rejected nearly all recommendations regarding engagement and cooperation with UN special procedures mandate holders, the US delegation led by Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe was urging the Sri Lankan government to ‘expeditiously implement both the UPR and LLRC recommendations’.
There was no mention to the underlying conflict in the US presentation.
Full text of the US Statement follows:
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America As Delivered by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe
Human Rights Council 22nd Session
March 15, 2013 The United States welcomes the return of the delegation of Sri Lanka to the Council and appreciates the opportunity to comment on their response to the UPR review.
We welcome the Government’s statement of its intention to accept recommendations to combat gender-based violence, to carry out an independent and credible investigation into the allegations of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and to strengthen the independence of institutions, including the Human Rights Commission, Police Commission, and Election Commission. During the review, a number of States called for the implementation of the recommendations of Sri Lanka’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
We are disappointed that the Government rejected all UPR recommendations from States that called upon it to implement the LLRC recommendations. Further, the Sri Lankan delegation attempted to reframe Sri Lanka’s human rights commitments in terms of the government’s National Plan of Action, which does not address the broad spectrum of recommendations put forward by the LLRC report, and by lobbying other delegations to revise their UPR recommendations to exclude reference to the LLRC report after they had been orally presented. Major changes were made to the substance of recommendations after the interactive dialogue. This is inconsistent with the transparent, interactive character of the UPR. We are also disappointed that the Government rejected nearly all recommendations regarding engagement and cooperation with UN special procedures mandate holders. We urge the government to expeditiously implement both the UPR and LLRC recommendations.