When the meeting of the member countries of the UNHRC for reviewing the resolution to be submitted was held on Tuesday, the Sri Lankan government demanded that several matters should be deleted from the draft resolution and that several amendments be made. It also said that the sentence “Encourages the Government of Sri Lanka, as undertaken to pursue dialogue and wide consultation with all stakeholders especially the victims of conflict, communities, political parties, civil society representatives, the military as well as the High Commissioner and his office, bilateral partners and other intentional organizations in establishing mechanism that will facilitate pursuit of truth seeking, justice, reparations and non-recurrence with the aim of achieving reconciliation and durable peace ”, should be included in the resolution.
This resolution is being brought in support of the demand for Internal Mechanism by Sri Lanka, and in order to ‘water down’ the recommendation in the UNHRC’s War Crimes Report, that Special Hybrid Court be established with regard to War Crimes committed in Sri Lanka. In a context of, the representatives of Tamil People and Human Rights Organizations continue to insist that, they do not have faith in this Internal Mechanism, this resolution is being brought, excluding their concern.
In this context, insistence of the GOSL, that it should consult its own military, in creating the Internal Mechanism, has created several suspicions. This is a pre-emptive act of GOSL to deteriorate the Internal Mechanism (which was rejected by the Tamils) activities, suggested the representatives of Tamil Diaspora, who took part in this meeting. While insisting that, ‘severe’ sentences and terms should be removed from the draft of this resolution, in view of the Good Governance prevailing in Sri Lanka and their reconciliation activities , the GOSL also sought to remove several paragraphs unfavourable to it.
Sri Lanka has called on the US to remove 15 paragraphs (3,6, 8,9,10, 11, 12, 15,16, 17, 19,20, 21, 22, 26) including those calling for handing over the lands, de-militarization, responding to the questions of UN special rapporteurs regarding devolution of power and specially the paragraph calling for the constituting hybrid court including international judges.
other paragraphs rejected by Sri Lanka Government are: Strengthening of security for witnesses, Releasing of lands, De-militarization, Investigations against the attacks on journalists, Human Rights activists and places of worship, Reliable investigations on extra-judicial killings, Report on Weliweriya shooting, mechanism to document matters related to human rights, power devolution, and responding to reports of UN special investigators regarding sexual violence and torture.
While China and Russia vociferously supported Sri Lanka’s demand, Canada and Ireland opposed it vehemently.
Inaugurating the meeting, the US Representative said that in a context of enormous changes that had occurred in Sri Lanka, this resolution should take a different tact than it did last time in a consensus manner.