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Lanka opposes tone of proposed US resolution on war crimes

Sri Lanka on Monday described as "reparative, judgmental" and "counterproductive" the text of the draft resolution to be moved by the US at the UN rights body in Geneva on the country's alleged war crimes during the last phase of civil war with the LTTE.



Colombo: Sri Lanka on Monday described as "reparative, judgmental" and "counterproductive" the text of the draft resolution to be moved by the US at the UN rights body in Geneva on the country's alleged war crimes during the last phase of civil war with the LTTE.

Sri Lanka's UN Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha participated in an informal consultation in Geneva on the draft resolution on the country organised by the Permanent Mission of the US.

In a statement during consultation, Aryasinha said "the text is reparative, judgmental and prescriptive and not in keeping with the spirit of the process of reconciliation and reform underway in Sri Lanka".

Outlining various positive steps taken by Sri Lanka's new government since January, Aryasinha called for a process where his country will be helped to achieve its will for reconciliation in a holistic approach.

"There is real danger that the current approach will leave room for negative interpretation thus only helping spoilers in the process," Ambassador Aryasinha said at the discussion.

He also said that emphasising excessively on the criminal justice aspects makes the resolution imbalanced.

"It would be more helpful to have a holistic approach when making recommendations in the resolution on promoting reconciliation in Sri Lanka," he added.

Aryasinha said many paragraphs in the current draft were counterproductive to the government's reconciliation efforts and have the tendency to polarise communities, vitiate the atmosphere on the ground that is being carefully nurtured towards reconciliation and pace building and restrict the space required for consultation.

The resolution to be moved by the US was earlier expected to back Sri Lanka's idea for a domestic mechanism to investigate war crimes, but now believes to contain provisions endorsing the UN Human Rights Commissioner's report last week which called for the setting up of a hybrid court with international investigators and prosecutors.

Sri Lanka has been insisting on a domestic mechanism to probe the matter.

Rights groups claim that the Sri Lankan military killed 40,000 civilians in the final months of the three decade-long brutal ethnic conflict with the LTTE that ended in 2009.

The previous government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa had resisted international pressure to investigate the issue.

The UN Human Rights Council postponed the planned publication of its report in March, after Rajapaksa lost the presidential election to party rival Maithripala Sirisena in January.

Sirisena, who was a serving government minister during the final stages of the war, promised to co-operate with the UN and to promote reconciliation. 

From Zee News

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