Congress may pass resolution

congressA resolution on Sri Lanka submitted last week to the US Congress and now being considered by the Committee on Foreign Relations, is likely to get to the next stage.

According to an agency tracking the resolution, there is a 73 percent chance it will go to the next stage and be taken for a vote to decide if it should be adopted.

Submitted by Senator Richard Burr, the resolution has five co-sponsors in Congress and looks to express support for the internal rebuilding, resettlement, and reconciliation within Sri Lanka that are necessary to ensure a lasting peace.

The Resolution states: 

Whereas May 19, 2013, marks the four-year anniversary of the end of the 26-year conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government of Sri Lanka;

Whereas the people of Sri Lanka suffered greatly as a result of this conflict, the impact and aftermath of which has been felt especially by women, children, and families;

Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka established a Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to report whether any person, group, or institution directly or indirectly bears responsibility for incidents that occurred between February 2002 and May 2009 and to recommend measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future and promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities;

Whereas the LLRC report was presented to the Sri Lankan Parliament on December 16, 2011, and officially translated into Sinhala and Tamil on August 16, 2012;

Whereas the LLRC report acknowledges important events and grievances that have contributed to decades of political violence and war in Sri Lanka and makes constructive recommendations on a wide range of issues, including the need to credibly investigate widespread allegations of extrajudicial killings; enforced disappearances; intentional targeting of civilians and noncombatants; demilitarizing the north and the country as a whole; reaching a political settlement with minority communities on the meaningful decentralization of power; and promoting and protecting the right to freedom of expression for all through the enactment of a right to information law and additional rule of law reforms;

Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka developed the National Plan of Action to implement just 82 of the 285 recommendations of the LLRC in August 2011, and although the Government of Sri Lanka has made some progress on rehabilitation, resettlement of displaced persons, and improvements of infrastructure in the North and East, there are still many issues of major concern;

Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka has yet to reasonably address issues of reconciliation and accountability through internal processes;

Whereas the Department of State’s 2012 Human Rights Report on Sri Lanka outlines ongoing concerns regarding landownership and property restitution, particularly in the Jaffna Peninsula, where large numbers of persons have not received restitution for land that remains part of government high security zones, and while citizens generally were able to travel almost anywhere in the island, there continues to be police and military checkpoints in the north, and defacto high-security zones and other areas remained off limits to citizens;

Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka has not taken tangible steps toward demilitarization of civilian functions, particularly in the North and East, and continued military presence on private lands in the North is preventing the resettlement of internally displaced persons who desire a return to peaceful life;

Whereas the Department of State’s 2012 Human Rights Report on Sri Lanka also includes reports of serious human rights violations such as unlawful killings by security forces and government-allied paramilitary groups, often in predominantly Tamil areas; torture and abuse of detainees by police and security forces; and arbitrary arrest and detention by authorities;

Whereas the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution supported by the United States and adopted by the UNHRC on March 21, 2013, expresses concern at the continuing reports of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, as well as intimidation of and reprisals against human rights defenders, members of civil society and journalists, threats to judicial independence and the rule of law, and discrimination on the basis of religion or belief;

Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka expressed its commitment to addressing the needs of all ethnic groups and has recognized, in the past, the necessity of a political settlement and reconciliation for a peaceful and just society; and

Whereas tangible progress on domestic and international investigations into reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations during and after the conflict and promoting reconciliation would facilitate enhanced United States engagement and investment in Sri Lanka: Now, therefore, be it

That the Senate—

(1)commends the representatives of the United States on their leadership on United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (UNHRC) 22/1, adopted by the UNHRC on March 21, 2013, which promotes reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka;

(2)calls on the United States and the international community to establish an independent international accountability mechanism to evaluate reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations committed by both sides during and after the war in Sri Lanka;

(3)urges the Government of Sri Lanka to allow unimpeded access for media, international aid agencies, and human rights groups into all regions of the country, as well as to detention sites that may hold political and war prisoners;

(4)urges the Government of Sri Lanka to end its media restrictions, including the obstacles to the flow of information in the North and East, and bring to justice those responsible for attacks on journalists and newspaper offices; and

(5)calls upon the President to develop a comprehensive policy towards Sri Lanka that reflects United States interests, including respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, economic interests, and security interests. (Colombo Gazette)


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9 Responses to "Congress may pass resolution"

  1. UC citizen  February 11, 2014 at 10:41 am

    The US Senate is incompetent, this flimsy statement is weak on facts and strong on rhetoric. Let’s see some substance that makes a real case. If its not there, they should keep their nose out of other peoples business. Senator Burr is a bore! Who paid him to do this?

    Antany Peter could do better, and that is not saying a hell of a lot. He has to keep posting the same BS across multiple sites to get attention. He must be really lonely down there in New Zealand, and bored. He is not a very impressive character.

    Reply
  2. fernando  February 11, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Jokers in the world ,they thinkin WORLD is there PIG.

    Reply
  3. Democrazy  February 10, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Discrimination on the basis of the religion, military present in the whole world by world’s highest humans killed by USA (Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan) any one can point out in the UNO? World’s real killers are visible but truth is bitter for modern world. Each and every muslims who are living in USA monitored by FBI. Any Muslim entering to USA , monitoring by FBI. This is well known secret also. Is only USA is United States of America and others are divided states?

    Reply
  4. Senarath  February 10, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    No need UNO. This shows UN is puppet of USA. One day elephant also falling down. There is a end for each and every one of this world. Every one waiting for that movement.

    Reply
  5. Bandu  February 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    So the Resolution before the Congress is calling for “an independent international mechanism to evaluate reports on war crimes, inquire into crimes against humanity, and human right violations committed by both sides during and after the war.”
    The position is clear. If adopted this will be the US line in Geneva. There is no more reference to a credible local investigation, the LLRC process or any other. So my position that Lalith Weeratunge’s recent representation on implementation of LLRC has had no effect on US administration can be maintained. The Resolution before the Congress is vague about the period covered by “Reports on war crimes” it refers to. Are these confined to the last phase of the war, as most reports are?

    Reply
  6. Asoka  February 10, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Whole world knows Barak Husain Obama holding Nobel Peace Prize in one hand and his other hand is full of missiles (Drone attacks). Ex-democratic senator Edward Kennedy said “Prizes for the Crises” this one full fill by Barak Husain Obama.

    Reply
  7. Sinhaya  February 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    US is clearly in an exercise in creating more Bin Ladens around the world!!

    Reply
  8. channa  February 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    This is a very best opportunity to Sri Lankan’s to decide who are the best allied countries for future developments and safeguard national interest during 21st century.. Probably president will capable to do smart work on same step forward with mandate he already won.

    Reply
  9. Antany Peter  February 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I really don’t think any of you really understand what is about to unfold in the Indian Ocean. This is going to get ugly beyond your prediction. But the real losers are Sri Lankans. Remember, India felt threatened, and created the LTTE when J R went behind the US. Ultimately, Sri Lankans paid for it with the THIRTY years of war and losing more than 100,000 people. Now Mahinda Rajapaksa is going behind China and pushing India towards the West. India does not have a choice; it must go with the West. The West knows that Asia is getting bigger and powerful, and the West will do everything to break Asia. If the Chinese communist party really understands the West’s power and knowledge it would not go against India or Japan. Even if China, India and Japan joint together still they can’t defeat the West, because the West is so powerful. How in this earth the Chinese communist party is going to fight against the West, India and Japan?

    The Chinese communist party’s action is similar to the Japan emperor’s action who decided to attack the pearl harbour without knowing the implications of his action. Eventually, the US dropped two atomic bombs and made them to surrender unconditionally. The Japan emperor made his people, Chinese, Koreans and other Asians to suffer. Likewise, the Chinese communist party will make others to suffer in Asia. The Chinese people who have been working hard to make the Chinese communist party rich will end up in nothing, because of the Chinese communist party’s foolish actions. The Chinese communist regime and the Rajapaksa fools are playing a foolish game in the Indian Ocean. They will betray their people and undermine Asia. The ultimate losers are Sri Lankans, and other Asians, but the winners are the Westerners.

    Reply

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