An early draft of the United States sponsored resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council calls upon the Government to allow “unfettered access” to UN rapporteurs responsible for different topics.They include mandate holders dealing with independence of judges and lawyers; torture; human rights defenders; freedom of expression; freedom of association and assembly; extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; and the Working Group on enforced or involuntary disappearances.
This is one of the major highlights of the two-page resolution now being circulated and is likely to see more changes before it is formally introduced at the Council.
The adoption of the salient features of the draft resolution would mean Sri Lanka will receive one more year’s time to initiate action on the latest resolution. However, as the main highlight reveals, issues arising from it could pose serious difficulties in the conduct of foreign policy, warns a Sri Lankan diplomat who is privy to the draft.
In another highlight, the draft resolution calls upon the Government to expeditiously implement the constructive recommendations made in the LLRC report and to take all necessary additional steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equality, accountability, and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans.
The resolution welcomes UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s report on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. It expresses concern at the continuing reports of violations of human rights, threats to judicial independence and the rule of law, and failure by the Government to fulfil its public commitments, including devolution of political authority to provinces as called for in Sri Lanka’s constitution.