Pillay’s report with the government

A draft of the report by the UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay to be presented at the Human Rights Council Session later this month, has been submitted to the Government of Sri Lanka for perusal, the Colombo Gazette learns.

The Office of the High Commissioner will table a report on Advice and Technical Assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka when the UNHRC’s 22nd Session opens on February 25, 2013.

The report will deal with Colombo’s progress and shortcomings with regard to implementing the recommendations of the LLRC and investigating human rights abuses in the final phase of the war. It will be made public in about 10 days, reliable diplomatic sources said.

The Government is currently studying the draft report, it is learnt.

Presidential Special Envoy on Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe will lead the Sri Lankan delegation to Geneva for the 22nd HRC Session.

Sri Lanka will feature on the agenda at least three times during the HRC’s 22nd Session, during the presentation of Pillay’s report, the tabling of Sri Lanka’s UPR report and the US sponsored ‘procedural’ resolution that Washington says it will move in Geneva this year.

Highly placed diplomatic sources said that the US Government was pleased with Sri Lanka’s progress on some fronts following the adoption of the UNHRC resolution in March 2012, but found there had been ‘zero discussion’ on issues of accountability in the post-resolution phase.

The recent impeachment of Sri Lanka’s Cheif Justice underscored the fact that a second resolution was necessary to ensure Sri Lanka ‘stayed on the agenda’ and the country’s post-conflict issues stayed on the radar of the world community, these sources said.

The US aim is not to attack Sri Lanka by moving a second resolution, the diplomatic sources said, but merely to encourage the Government in Colombo to accelerate the reconciliation and accountability process.

“The US is trying to tell Sri Lanka they can’t drag their feet on this, they have to move,” a diplomatic source said.

The US backed resolution currently being drafted in consultation with other key capitals of the world, including New Delhi, will not be a punitive one, the sources explained. (Colombo Gazette)