Sri Lanka Brief

US want road map


The US State Department is unlikely to accept anything less than a clear cut road map to implement the human rights council resolution from the Sri Lankan government.  The State Department is likely to push for this when External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Pieris is expected to visit US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington DC, tomorrow (18).

The State Department officials have already informed some influential US lawmakers, who are interested in Sri Lanka’s human rights record that the State Department has anticipated a clear solution from Sri Lankan delegation and they will not buy anything less than that.

The United States Tamil Political Action Committee (USTPAC), the most influential Tamil lobby group in the US, met top Senators and House of Representatives, who serve at foreign affairs committees last week and urged them to pressurize the State Department to  implement the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka.

“We learn that USTPAC members pointed out, the Sri Lanka government has been trying to introduce home grown alternatives over the UN Human Rights Council resolution for the last few months. They requested the top US lawmakers to intervene in implementing the UN Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka,” the lawyers said.
Meanwhile USTPAC sent a letter to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and urged her to take bold decisions to implement the Human Right Council resolution, during her meeting with Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Pieris.
They also informed the Secretary of State, Clinton that the Sri Lankan government will try to back paddle the whole process.

 In addition, International human rights organizations have pressed the State Department to take Sri Lanka’s grave human right violation issue, during bilateral talks with the Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister.
According to the Human Right Council resolution in Geneva, the Sri Lanka government has to implement the constructive recommendations made in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and take all necessary additional steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans.

The second recommendation requests the Government of Sri Lanka to present, as expeditiously as possible, a comprehensive action plan detailing the steps that the government has taken and will take to implement the recommendations made in the Commission’s report, and also to address alleged violations of international law

Finally the resolution; “Encourages the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special procedures mandate holders to provide, in consultation with, and with the concurrence of, the Government of Sri Lanka, advice and provide technical assistance on implementing the above mentioned steps; and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to present a report on the provision of such assistance to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-second session”.
By Mendaka Abeysekera Reporting from New York

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