Mar 19, Colombo: The United States presented the revised version of its resolution 'Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka' at the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday before the Monday's deadline.
The U.S. tabled a toned down version of the resolution co-sponsored by 32 countries including the U.S. to the UNHRC expecting the less demanding resolution to get adopted by the Council without much resistance.
India, which voted against Sri Lanka last year supporting the U. S. resolution, said yesterday that it would be waiting to see the final draft to declare its stance on the resolution since the Sri Lanka's historic neighbor is under pressure from the pro-Eelam Tamil parties of its Tamil Nadu state to act against Sri Lanka.
The final draft tabled yesterday welcomes and acknowledges the progress made by the Government of Sri Lanka in rebuilding infrastructure, demining, resettling the majority of internally displaced persons, while noting that considerable work need to be done in the areas of justice, reconciliation and resumption of livelihoods.
It welcomed the announcement by the Sri Lankan government to hold elections to the Provincial Council in the Northern Province in September 2013.
The U.S. has dropped the entire call for demanding unfettered access to the Special Rapporteurs on the various disciplines to conduct investigations and instead encouraged the Sri Lankan government to cooperate with special procedures mandate holders and to respond formally to their outstanding requests, including by extending invitations and providing access.
While taking note of the National Plan of Action to implement the recommendations of the government's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the resolution says the national plan of action does not adequately address all of the findings and constructive recommendations of the LLRC.
It says the National Plan of Action does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law and expresses concern on continuing reports of violations of human rights, including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, as well as intimidation of and reprisals against human rights defenders, members of civil society and journalists, and threats to judicial independence and the rule of law, and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief.
The revised resolution reiterated its call upon the government of Sri Lanka to effectively implement the constructive recommendations made in the report of the LLRC, and to take all necessary additional steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity and accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans but stopped short of calling for an investigation into the violations.
However, it encouraged the government to implement the recommendations made in the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and also called upon the government to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as applicable.
The resolution calls upon the government to fulfill its public commitments, including on the devolution of political authority.
The U.S. State Department on Monday said the U.S. is going to move forward in Geneva again and that was no surprise to the Government of Sri Lanka.
The State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Monday that Secretary Clinton had made it clear to the Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris during their meeting last year in Washington that if Sri Lanka didn't have any progress the U.S. would go forward with the resolution.
The Revised Resolution