Resolution on Sri Lanka adopted without a vote

The resolution on Sri Lanka presented to the UN Human Rights Council, was adopted without a vote during the 30th session of the Council in Geneva today.

Titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” the resolution was passed after no country sought a vote on the text.

The US delegation presented the resolution to the Council today and some of the co-sponsors made comments on the text.

The President of the Council announced that the resolution had been adopted by consensus.

“The adoption of this resolution is a turning point for human rights in Sri Lanka, and crucially recognizes terrible crimes committed by both parties during the armed conflict. Although far from perfect, if the resolution and the underlying commitments of Sri Lanka’s government are implemented in good faith it presents an opportunity for victims to finally get the truth and justice they have been waiting for,” said David Griffiths, Amnesty International’s South Asia Research Director.

“The resolution calls for international judges, defence lawyers, prosecutors and investigators to ensure the credibility of the justice process – this is crucial. Sri Lanka has time and time again shown it is both unwilling and unable to investigate war crimes allegations against its own forces or hold perpetrators of grave abuses to account.

“Any accountability process must have an international component for it to have any credibility, as well as to provide the necessary skills and expertise.

“It will also be up to the international community and the Sri Lankan authorities to ensure that victims and their families are genuinely consulted at every step of the process to get to truth and justice. Sri Lankan authorities must undertake a wide range of institutional reform, including to strengthen witness protection which today falls far short of what is required.”

The Chinese delegation at the UNHRC said that it maintains the position that it opposes country specific resolutions and expressed the hops that Sri Lanka will address the issues before it through a domestic process.

The Indian delegation at the session, meanwhile, called on the Government to implement the 13th Amendment to the constitution.

South Africa noted the role it hopes to play to assist Sri Lanka in the truth seeking process and urged the Government to hold discussions even with the Tamil Diaspora as the country moves forward. (Colombo Gazette)