1st Informal Session on proposed draft resolution on Sri Lanka (UN HRC30 )

BY Rajkumar

As usual the Member states are holding dividing opinion on the way-forward. It looks like the criminal investigation mechanism would be a local one within the Sri Lankan system. It May include some international observers / experts. Member states are even reluctant to use the term “Hybrid Mechanism” as it could open many interpretations they claim. Pakistan and some other states are opposing to even add demilitarisation of the North and East in the resolution. Looks like only Swiss wanted to strengthen OP4 to clarify the mechanism.

We need to keep advocating for a true international partnership in the investigation to make any progress. Also should advocate at least following points to be included in the resolution.

It must be done before the next informal!

Please contact participial leaders and human rights groups to advocate for the following:

  • The resolution should clarify the criminal investigation mechanism: for example it must entail the appointment of independent and competent personnel by the UN to constitute a significant majority in key positions – prosecutors, judges, and investigators, and jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute the alleged atrocities committed by all sides.
  • Sri Lankan constitution or laws do not recognise war crimes, crimes against humanity or the crime of Genocide. In order to setup a Court, these crimes must be included retroactively in the legal system with immediate effect.
  • Sri Lanka to ratify of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and also urge Sri Lanka to submit a declaration voluntarily providing retroactive jurisdiction to the International Criminal Court.
  • OHCHR to report to the council with an interim update during the 31st session and a full report at the 33rd session with periodic reports / updates during the period of the court where appropriate.
  • A timetable to agree an international treaty between United Nations and the State of Sri Lanka to set the mandate of hybrid mechanism.
  • Call to lift Sri Lankan government’s illicit ban on Tamil political and human rights organisations.