Jan 08, Colombo: The United States will move a third resolution against Sri Lanka at the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva in March calling for an international probe into the war crimes allegations during the final phase of the war, a US diplomat has said.
The U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, in the Office of Global Criminal Justice at the Department of States Stephen J. Rapp has assured Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance that US will seek an international probe into alleged rights abuses, TNA MP MA Sumanthiran has told the media.
Rapp, who arrived in Sri Lanka Monday on a six-day fact finding mission, has met the TNA legislators Sumanthiran and Mavai Senathirajah in Colombo before visiting the Northern Province today.
During his visit to the North the Ambassador has met the Governor of Northern Province G.A. Chandrasiri, Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran, Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph and several other political and civil society leaders, the BBC Sinhala Service said. He has also visited the Uthayan newspaper office.
However, in response to the US diplomat's action to bring an international investigation, Jaffna civil organization activists have asked him to refrain from bringing another resolution against Sri Lanka, the local radio Hiru FM reported.
The activists have asked Rapp to submit an alternative proposal to Geneva sessions instead which would be strong enough to solve the national crisis in the country.
Following his visit to the North, Rapp is scheduled to meet government officials, and political and civil society leaders in Colombo to discuss a range of issues focusing on justice, accountability, and reconciliation processes.
Responding to the US diplomat's comments Cabinet Spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has told media that Sri Lanka is aware of the US move and ready for a diplomatic battle to face the situation.
The Minister said earlier that although Sri Lanka expects heavy pressure at the session, the country is not isolated by any means and a number of countries have expressed support. The government has already launched a program to meet the challenge, he said.
Sri Lanka, anticipating the US move has launched a vigorous diplomatic offensive to apprise the member states of the UNHRC on the post-conflict developments on the tissues the international community has raised.
The External Affairs Ministry has sent envoys to the member countries to enlighten them on Sri Lanka's progress since the end of the three-decade long war in 2009.
The United States tabled two successive resolutions on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in March 2012 and 2013, calling for the government to expedite implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
The Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, who is the head of the Presidential Task Force assigned to implement the LLRC recommendations, will visit Geneva later this month to apprise the envoys of the UN member states on the latest developments regarding implementing the LLRC recommendations.