UK propose extending UN lifeline to Sri Lanka on accountability

By Kithsiri Wijesinghe

The United Kingdom will lead an international request to grant Sri Lanka more time to fulfill its undelivered commitments on ten years old wartime atrocities, despite protests by victims.

Canada, Germany, Macedonia and Montenegro will join  the UK, calling itself the core group, in proposing the extension at the global rights body convening in Geneva, said the British government.

In a joint resolution adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2015 Sri Lanka agreed to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in the country.

The measures in resolution 30/1 included establishing a special court with international judges to probe alleged war crimes.

'Going backwards'

Sri Lanka was given a further two years in 2017 to deliver, by the UN Human Rights Commission.

Surviving Tamil war victims slamming Sri Lanka for "going backwards" on its commitments have appealed to the UN against giving its government more time.

"The Core Group will again be working in partnership with Sri Lanka and look to continue the cooperation which began in 2015 and maintain engagement with the Council as Sri Lanka works towards the implementation of the commitments in HRC resolution 30/1," UK announced on Monday.

"The draft text will be procedural in nature and seek to extend further the process established by the HRC in 2015. We will hold open informal negotiations in line with standard Council practice and hope to have the full support of the Council for the resolution once again."

The Sri Lankan government has strongly opposed investigating its military that has allegedly killed at least 70,000 unarmed civillians in the war that ended in 2009.☐