UNP seeks deal with the government (Audio)

The opposition United National Party (UNP) has sought an agreement with the government to counter any attempt by the UN to censure Sri Lanka over human rights issues.

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the UNP is willing to sign an agreement where the government commits to implant the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and have elections in the north.

The UNP leader told reporters this afternoon that attempts are being made to bring a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council against Sri Lanka focusing on, among other things, the LLRC.

He said that during the opening of the  Mattala international airport next week the UNP is willing to reach an agreement with the government on the key issues.

The United States had last week formally submitted the draft resolution on Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council currently meeting in Geneva.

The draft resolution titled ‘Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka’ is still open for amendments before it is discussed at the Council and debated on.

The resolution notes the UN High Commissioner for Human Right’s call for an independent and credible international investigation into alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka.

It also expresses concern at the continuing reports of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, including enforced disappearances, extra-judicial killings, torture, 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 and threats to judicial independence and the rule of law.

The resolution recalls the constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC report, including the need to credibly investigate widespread allegations of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances, demilitarize the north of Sri Lanka, implement impartial land dispute resolution mechanisms, re-evaluate detention policies, strengthen formerly independent civil institutions, reach a political settlement on the devolution of power to the provinces, promote and protect the right of freedom of expression for all and enact rule of law reforms. (Colombo Gazette)

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