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US to move pro-Sri Lanka resolution at UNHRC

Posted in S. Asia

Published on August 28, 2015 with No Comments

In a U-turn, the US has said it will move a pro-Sri Lanka resolution at the UNHRC ahead of a crucial report on alleged war crimes during the country’s three-decade long civil war with the LTTE. Visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia Nisha Biswal said the matter had already been discussed with the international community as there is a need to give the new Sri Lankan government time to address the human rights concerns.

“The US has announced it will be offering a resolution at the September session of the Human Rights Council. It will be a resolution of collaboration with the government of Sri Lanka and with other key stakeholders,” she said. Interestingly, it was a US-moved resolution that called for an international probe into alleged war crimes during the nearly three decade-long civil war that ended in 2009 and was adopted last year in the 47-member UN Human Rights Council. The US was at the forefront in adopting a total of three resolutions at the UN human rights session on Sri Lanka and today’s announcement marks a complete shift in US’ stance. It comes after the US said it supports an independent domestic probe, which the minority Tamils have said might not be fair.

“We have recognised that there is a different opportunity that exists today and a different landscape for trying to advance reconciliation. We look forward to a process in Geneva that allows an opportunity to reflect on that,” she told reporters.

The pro-Sri Lanka resolution at UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will come even as the body looks to discuss a highly critical report on alleged war crimes committed by both the government troops and the LTTE during the last phase of the war in 2009.

The Sri Lanka report as mandated by the 2014 resolution will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council during its 30th session in Geneva next week.

Biswal said that the resolution will be consensual and will be drafted following discussions with the Sri Lankan government after the report becomes public.

 

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