SL action after US resolution – Govt.

Published : 9:24 am  September 18, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (454) reads | 


By Sandun A Jayasekera
Sri Lanka will decide on its next course of action in respect of the UNHRC report which was released on Wednesday after studying the US-sponsored resolution expected to be presented to the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next Thursday, the government said yesterday.Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne told the weekly cabinet news briefing that the Sri Lankan government expected the US resolution supported by the EU, India and China would be helpful for Sri Lanka to present its case before the global community pertaining to war crime charges occurred during the final phase of the war. Untitled-4
“The Sri Lankan government expects the US resolution will scale down the harshness of the UNHRC report and warrants a domestic inquiry conducted on the International standard and guidelines which Sri   Lanka has already agreed. I don’t think this resolution would demand an international inquiry on alleged human rights violations as suggested by the UNHRC report but 
will support a credible domestic inquiry,” Dr. Senaratne stressed. 
Commenting on the UNHRC report, Dr. Senaratne said it had not levelled an accusing finger directly at Sri   Lanka at any point of time but highlighted the necessity to inquire into war crimes committed either by the armed forces or the LTTE if there were ample evidence to prove the allegations. 
Besides, the report has not named names as those who have allegations against them on violation of human rights as expected by many. But the UNHRC report has put the blame on the command structure of the armed forces for certain atrocities allegedly committed during the tail end of the war, he said. 
“We are not in a haste at all. We need to talk to all those concerned and come to a consensus on how we are going to respond to certain allegations,” he emphasized. 
Dr. Senaratne lamented that the government had information to the effect that certain people had attempted to create a fear psychosis among military officials saying that the UNHRC report had named 48 officers as those who had committed war crimes and even a move to retain lawyers on their behalf but proved to be a false assumption. 
What is most important and positive about the UNHRC report is that it had not made allegations directly to any party. It merely talks about enforced disappearance, forced recruitment of children, numerous unlawful killings, brutal use of torture, sexual and gender based violence. It has some reservations on the local inquiry and that is why the UNHRC proposes a hybrid special court. However, the UNHRC report talks directly about the use of civilians as a human shield by the LTTE. The UNHRC does not believe that there was genocide in Sri Lanka as suggested by some, Dr. Senaratne said.