Sri Lanka in no hurry says envoy

Implementation of all the recommendations of a war commission appointed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will not be rushed, a Sri Lankan envoy said on Sunday.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya said the government stood strongly against a resolution to be presented by the U.S to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva calling on the government to adopt the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

The LLRC was appointed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look into some concerns raised over the conduct of the war between the Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tiger rebels.

The rebels were defeated in May 2009 but human rights groups alleged that the military had violated the rules of war during the final battle.

The LLRC had submitted its final report to the President late last year and the report contained several recommendations.

Wickramasuriya said that international pressure might make it difficult for Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of the LLRC.

“Considering all the changes the country has undergone in the post-conflict period, it is important that Sri Lanka be given the chance to overcome its challenges,” Ambassador Wickramasuriya said. “It is only natural, then, that Sri Lanka would not wish to encounter measures that some countries may bring to the Human Rights Council.”

Wickramasuriya noted that several committees and Sri Lanka’s Department of Justice have already been tasked with looking at the recommendations of the LLRC and its implementation.

“Pressure from some part of the international community is unacceptable,” Ambassador Wickramasuriya said. “It is the firm conviction of the Government of Sri Lanka that it will not favor any external intervention to probe into its domestic issues. Further, such action would not be in keeping with established international procedure, where the domestic process needs to be exhausted prior to any international action.”

The recommendations of the LLRC include the prosecution of those suspected of committing war crimes, the resolution of land disputes, the accommodation of war widows, investigations into those who are still missing, the issuance of death certificates to those who are confirmed to be deceased, investigations into armed independent groups and a number of other measures.