Several member-countries supportive of Sri Lanka are hoping to submit a counter-proposal against the US-led resolution on Sri Lanka which is expected to be presented at next month’s UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva, the Daily Mirror learns. Government spokesman and Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Daily Mirror he was aware of such a move but it was not initiated by the Sri Lankan Government.
“The decision to submit a Sri Lanka-friendly resolution at the UNHRC sessions is entirely an independent move by friendly countries with the Government having no hand in it. We are remaining aloof because any interaction with them will give a wrong impression,” the minister said.
UNHRC-member countries such as Russia and China had opposed the US and Britain-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka. The friendly countries are reportedly keen to present a counter-proposal aimed at diluting the third resolution on Sri Lanka calling for an international investigation into alleged war crimes during the last stages of the war. Even friendly countries like Pakistan, Iran, the UAE and Indonesia have expressed their reservations on the anti-Sri Lankan resolution and as such are likely to support the counter resolution.
The counter proposal to dilute the US-led resolution – which has the backing of Britain, the European Union and India — has been mooted amid reports that UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay in her report to the UNHRC has called for an international investigation into war crime allegations against Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka will send a high-powered delegation led by External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris to speak on the steps taken by the Sri Lankan Government to address accountability issues and the process of reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation.
The delegation is likely to comprise Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, Attorney General Palitha Fernando and Ravinatha Aryasingha, who heads Sri Lanka’s Mission in Geneva.
Mr. Weeratunga heads the task force monitoring the National Plan of Action on implementing the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka launched a vigorous campaign to counter the US-sponsored resolution with several ministers and government officials visiting UNHRC-member countries in the past few weeks to canvas support for Sri Lanka. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)