Written by Bella Dalima
22 Mar, 2014 | 7:17 am
The World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka, a collective of organisations and individuals from across the globe, has called on the Human Rights Council to reject the draft resolution on Sri Lanka.
In an appeal addressed to the members of the UN Human Rights Council, the organisation notes that the draft resolution is in contravention of of the basic principles of the UNHRC, as enunciated in its charter, including the principles of “universality, impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity and constructive international dialogue, along with the norms of fair play and justice.
The appeal notes that with regard to the issue of human rights violations, the UNHRC has an established mechanism to take up such matters – namely the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and therefore there is no justification for a country- specific resolution.
With respect to the issue of accountability, the World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka notes that, the High Commissioner’s report of 24 February 2014 that is intended to be the basis of any Resolution adopted in the present sessions, cites two sources of allegations regarding the issue of alleged violations of humanitarian law: The Secretary General’s Panel of Experts Report of March 2011, and the Channel 4 videos.
The World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka says that the Panel of Experts and the Channel 4 videos have not at any stage been tabled officially before the Council and Sri Lanka has had no opportunity to respond to them before the Council, thus, the credibility of these two sources has never been tested.
The appeal notes that this is a serious violation of procedural fairness.
Furthermore the World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka notes that the UN General Assembly Resolution 60/251 that set up the Human Rights Council does not mandate the Office of the High Commissioner to engage in any investigation, leave alone “lead” an investigation into Human Rights violations.
The organisation says that assigning such a mandate would be in violation of the UN Charter and would furthermore set a dangerous precedent.
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