Lanka rejects resolution, seeks vote

The Sri Lankan government has decided to reject the final draft of the US resolution and will seek a vote among members of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday, the Colombo Gazette learns.
In letters addressed to Foreign Ministers of UNHRC member countries, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said the Government of Sri Lanka believes that drawing disproportionate attention to Sri Lanka’s situation and introducing resolution that seeks to discredit, single out the country and humiliate are unhelpful and counterproductive to Sri Lanka’s current reconciliation process.
The Minister has noted that the beneficiaries of such action would be none other than the divisive forces that seek to destabilize the hard won peace in the country.
Moreover, he says the precedent created by intrusive, biased and politicized actions such as the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka would pose a danger for all nations.
“Just as the Government of Sri Lanka did not recognize the last HRC resolution, it rejects the new resolution. Sri Lanka intends to request a vote when the draft resolution is taken up at the Human Rights Council on 21st March 2013. Sri Lanka seeks the understanding and the support of HRC member states at the vote on this resolution,” the Minister said in his letter, seen in part by the Colombo Gazette.
The US on Monday tabled the final version of the resolution at the 22nd session of the UNHRC in Geneva, with several co-sponsors including Austria, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway and Britain.
In a toned down document as compared to the previous drafts, the resolution requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present an oral update to the at its 24th session.
It is also seeking a comprehensive report followed by a discussion at the 25th session, on the implementation of the present resolution.
The US said it had alerted the government last year on the possibility of taking action on Sri Lanka if there was no progress in human rights related issues.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland Monday said Sri Lanka had been alerted last year by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she met Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris.
Nuland said the US was working with several governments on the resolution on Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)