Key features of the US draft resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to UNHRC

Key features of the US draft resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to UNHRC

Key features of the US draft resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to UNHRC

Written by Ramesh Irugalbandara

25 Sep, 2015 | 3:02 am

On Thursday (Sept. 24th) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made an important announcement to the entire country, addressing an event in Colombo the premier revealed that Sri Lanka would be co-sponsoring the US resolution on Sri Lanka which will be submitted for the approval of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).    (Watch video)

KEY Points2Shortly before the announcement by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, the draft resolution titled promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka was submitted to members of the UNHRC.

The main sponsors of the resolution are the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and the United States of America. The six page draft resolution welcomes a number of commitments made by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and makes several key recommendations.

 

The draft resolution recognizes the need for a process of accountability and reconciliation for violations and abuses committed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as highlighted in the OISL report.

It welcomes the commitment made by the GOSL to review and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and replace it with anti-terrorism legislation which are in line with contemporary international best practices.

While the resolution also welcomes the GOSL’s proposal to establish a Judicial Mechanism with a Special Counsel to investigate allegations of violations/abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, it notes that a credible justice process should include independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions led by individuals known for integrity and impartiality.

The draft resolution on Sri Lanka also recommends that the GOSL take steps to reform domestic laws in-order to enable the trial and prosecution of those responsible for violations and abuses of human rights, and violations of international humanitarian law.

Focusing on the activities of security forces personnel the draft resolution calls on the GOSL to introduce effective security sector reforms as part of its transitional justice process. It also calls for an end to military involvement in civilian affairs and recommends that the GOSL speed up the process of returning lands to its civilian owners.

Another recommendation made by the draft resolution calls for investigations into all alleged attacks on journalists and HR defenders.

commitmentsThe draft resolution calls on the GOSL to ensure that all Provincial Councils are able to operate effectively, in accordance with the 13th amendment to the Constitution. It also recommends that the OHCHR should continue to assess the progress of implementation of the draft resolution and stand ready to provide an oral update during 32nd session of the Human Rights Council followed by a comprehensive report during the 34th session.

The draft resolution which will be co-sponsored by Sri Lanka also does not fail to commend Sri Lanka on undertaking several landmark commitments. While commending the GOSL for its commitment to a political solution it also notes that the decision made by the incumbent government to sign and ratify the international convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearances, is commendable.

Complete text of draft resolution : 240915 DRAFT RESOLUTION

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