The United States today said that it will be submitting a resolution in support of Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva even as the Council looks to discuss a highly critical report on alleged war crimes committed in the country.
US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia, Nisha Biswal told reporters today that the matter had already been discussed with the international community as there is a need to give the new Sri Lankan government time to address the human rights concerns.
The report by the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council during its 30th session in Geneva next month.
Biswal who just concluded a visit to Sri Lanka said that the resolution will be consensual and will be drafted following discussions with the Sri Lankan government once the contents of the report is known.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has been calling for an international independent investigation on alleged war crimes said to have been committed during the final stages of the war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan military.
The US had supported such calls earlier but Biswal said that the new Government has shown promise of addressing the concerns through a domestic mechanism.
Biswal said that during her visit to Sri Lanka she had discussed the matter with the TNA and impressed on the need to work with the new government to address the issues.
Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, said that the international community will continue to keep the spotlight on Sri Lanka, no matter what happens in Geneva.
He said the US recognizes the efforts being taken by the Sri Lankan Government to address the human rights issue and will not set a deadline to see results.
However, he said that at the same time there are some immediate issues which the Government can address including returning land and releasing political prisoners.
He also said that in the past, the failure to meet commitments on the human rights issue had undermined confidence in a domestic process.
While the new Government is expected to face a challenge to secure confidence in the domestic process, Malinowski said the US will not judge based on promises but on results. (Colombo Gazette)
Report by Easwaran Rutnam