As it prepares to face a US-backed resolution on Lankan Tamils at the UNHRC, Sri Lanka on Thursday claimed that it has implemented 99 percent of the recommendations of the reconciliation commission already, the Press Trust of India reported today.
Sri Lanka deserves to be judged by the progress in implementing the recommendations of its own reconciliation commission than by any pre-conceived agendas against it, said Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Envoy and Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe, speaking about his presentation made at the current UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva on February 26.
Samarasinghe was hopeful that the facts presented by him would be viewed with due care by the council and its member states, claiming that 99 percent of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) have been already implemented.
“I told them to come and see it for themselves, how far we have progressed. I stated the truthful position in my presentation,” he said.
After a visit to Colombo earlier this year, a delegation of senior US officials declared that Washington would table another resolution on human rights violations in Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session later this month.
The LLRC was appointed by President Mahinda Rajapakse in a bid to deflect criticism of human rights violations by the Sri Lankan military during the final months of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which was defeated in May 2009.
“I hope that my presentation has made the impact it is aimed for. If anyone wants to be impartial and unbiased they would treat my presentation with fairness,” said Samarasinghe.
He said Sri Lanka had made progress in resettlement of those displaced, demining of the conflict zones, achieving economic development in the region. He added reintegration of the ex-LTTE combatants into the society and caring for LTTE child recruits is also being taken care of.
Samarasinghe, who is currently in Colombo, would return to Geneva in time to attend UNHRC’s universal periodic review (UPR) debate on March 15. “I will be addressing the UPR debate and on March 20 Human Rights Commissioner’s report will be placed,” he said.
Sri Lanka was hopeful of support at the discussion on the High Commissioner’s report. Speaking on the proposed resolution, Samarasinghe said it was premature for the government to comment on it without officially knowing its nature.
An US resolution adopted last year, which was supported by India, urged Sri Lanka to show rapid progress on the LLRC recommendations. Sri Lanka’s claims of progress are being doubted by rights organisations and the international community.