What is included in the draft UNHRC resolution?


The UNHRC resolution calls for an independent international probe into human rights and related abuses during the Sri Lankan civil war. Sri Lanka has come under increasing international pressure to probe allegations of excessive civilian deaths during the last battle between the army and the LTTE on May 2009.   Colombo, earlier rejected a call by the UN for an independent international probe, calling it on “unwarranted interference”.  

A draft resolution that the United States wants the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt has now been released on the UNHRC’s official website. Here are some basic facts on the resolution:

Who is submitting it?

  • The resolution, A/HRC/25/L.1, was submitted by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Montenegro, Macedonia, Mauritius, and can be downloaded here.

Does it call for an international investigation?

Does it call for a local investigative body?

  • Yes it does.

What does it say is right?

  • The resolution acknowledges the work done by the Sri Lankan government to rebuild infrastructure, demine the war zone, resettle the majority of displaced people.
  • It also welcomes the provincial council elections that were held last year with high levels of voter turnout and public participation.

What does it say that has to be done?

  • Considerable improvements on the areas of justice, reconciliation, demilitarisation, resumption of livelihoods.
  • It also says these need to be addressed with the participation of local population, minorities and representatives of civil society groups.

What does it say is wrong?

  • Continued reports of sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, torture, violations of rights of freedom of expresson and peaceful assembly.
  • Intimidation of human rights activists, journalists and members of civil society.
  • Threats to the independence of the judiciary.
  • The violence, and vote and candidate intimidation that took place during the Northern provincial council elections.
  • Some of those who met Navi Pillay last year during her visit were later harassed.
  • Rise of religious violence, mainly against Muslims, Christians and Hindus.

What does it want from the Sri Lankan government?

  • An “independent and credible” investigations into allegations on violations of international humanitarian law, and to hold those responsible accountable.
  • Investigations into the attacks on places of worship.
  • Release reports of attacks by the Sri Lankan army of civilians, including of the Weliweriya incident.
  • Implement the thirteenth amendment.
  • Facilitate a visit by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons.
  • Wants the Sri Lankan government to work with the OHCHR.

Will it pass?

  • Yes.

Who sits on the Human Rights Council and who’d vote for it?

This is our forecast, based on the individuals country’s standings and previous voting patterns.

Key: Yes (24), No (17), Abstention (6)

The article above is cross-posted from The Republic Square. The Republic Square curates Sri Lankan news and aggregates content that those with an interest in Sri Lanka will like. 

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