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* Sri Lanka ready to respond to fresh US resolution
Tue, Jan 29, 2013, 09:10 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 29, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government said it has achieved considerable progress in implementing the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and ready to defend its record in response to a new resolution to be brought by the United States at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at the next session in Geneva.

Sri Lanka's Foreign Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama said Tuesday that the government has done a lot to address post war issues in the country and has also briefed the international community on its progress.

"The US is entitled to its views but Sri Lanka is ready to respond to the resolution. We have made substantial progress on the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report and we have briefed the diplomatic community and media about this," Amunugama has told Xinhua news agency.

A three-member US delegation visiting the country to observe the post-war progress said yesterday that they are not pleased with the pace of the government's progress in implementing the reconciliation measures and investigating the alleged humanitarian law violations and the US will sponsor another resolution.

"The US has decided to sponsor a procedural resolution with its international partners against Sri Lanka at the March 2013 sessions of the UNHRC," Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department James R. Moore said at a media briefing in Colombo on Monday.

While recognizing that Sri Lanka had made some progress since the adoption of the US-sponsored resolution by the UN in March 2012, the Assistant Secretary said the US believes more needed to be done.

"The US and the other 23 members of the UNHRC who voted for that resolution in 2012 believe that the government of Sri Lanka needs to fulfill its commitments made to its own people," Moore said.

The UNHRC last March adopted a contested resolution sponsored by the United States to pressure the Sri Lankan government to take prompt measures to implement the LLRC recommendations and address the accountability issues.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Vikram Singh said the government's recent decision to impeach the Chief Justice following a process that was ruled as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court also contributed to the US decision to bring a anew resolution.

"It is safe to say that the impeachment of the chief justice also contributed to the decision to ensure that the record (against Sri Lanka) stays fresh in Geneva," Singh said at the press briefing yesterday.

The Sri Lankan government has been severely criticized by global powers for its handling of the impeachment of former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake by a parliamentary procedure which the country's Supreme Court ruled as unconstitutional.



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