The resolution will include the critical observations and harsh prescriptions of the UN’s Human Rights High Commissioner, Michele Bachelet.
The Core Group on Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) announced on Friday that it will present a resolution on the rights situation in Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. The Core Group comprises Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Malawi, Montenegro and the UK.
In a statement issued through the British High Commission here the Core Group said that it wished to highlight its ongoing commitment to accountability, reconciliation, and inclusive peace in Sri Lanka.
“We recognize and welcome the progress made by the Government of Sri Lanka in rebuilding infrastructure, demining, land return and resettling internally displaced persons. However, it is clear that more needs to be done to address the harmful legacies of war and build a sustainable peace in the country.”
“This month, the United Nations Human Rights Council will consider an important report recently published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on human rights, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.”
“It has been important for the Core Group to work collaboratively and constructively with the Government of Sri Lanka over the last five years. Consequently, we have engaged with the Government of Sri Lanka in preparation for the Council.”
“The Core Group restates the ongoing importance of addressing Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council. Informed by the report, the Core Group intends to present a resolution to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.”
The UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, had in her report presented earlier, expressed grave concern about the lack of progress in Sri Lanka in addressing human rights and war crimes issues and had recommended that Sri Lanka be referred to the International Criminal Court and targeted sanctions be instituted against Sri Lankan personnel alleged to have violated human rights and international humanitarian law in the war which ended in 2009 and thereafter.
The Sri Lankan government had replied to her charges point by point and had said that the charges are unsubstantiated, one-sided and unfair. Many of the observations and prescriptions violate the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and disregard its democratic institutions.
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Sri Lanka had earlier said that it has disassociated itself from the previous government’s co-sponsored resolution because the resolution had no institutional and popular mandate. And some of its prescriptions were both unwarranted and not implementable.
The Core Group had earlier tried to work out a consensual resolution, but the two sides were unable to find common ground. Hence the Core Group’s decision to go ahead with its own resolution, incorporating the observations and prescriptions made by High Commissioner Bachelet.