Sri Lanka opposition slams govt for resolution in UNHRC
Last Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014, 19:35
  
Colombo: The opposition in Sri Lanka on Thursday blamed the government for a resolution that the country is expected to face in the UN rights body next month over alleged war crimes during the campaign against Tamil Tiger rebels.

"The country is at a precipice and the government bears full responsibility for our country's current plight," main opposition United National Party (UNP) said in a statement.

The party was referring to US plans to move a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in March.

The new resolution at the UNHRC will build on two others passed in 2012 and 2013. The previous resolutions, backed by India, sought commitments from Sri Lanka on reconciliation and rights accountability.

Sri Lanka fears that the new resolution may call for an independent international probe into the alleged war crimes during the final phase of the military battle with the LTTE in 2009.

The UNP said after years of insisting that the Sri Lankan government carry out a credible internal investigation into the alleged human rights violations, especially in the final phase of the war, the international community seems poised to demand an international probe.

"This is a situation which could have been easily avoided had the government heeded the calls of the UNP and many others who have been insisting that the rulers respect the rights of its citizens, irrespective of race religion or place of origin and address the serious allegations levelled against them in a manner that is acceptable to the people of this country."

Instead we have it stead we have witnessed further deterioration in the rule of law, accountability and credibility of the Sri Lankan state, it said.

The UNP contended that President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself had pledged to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in May 2009 that he would undertake an internal investigation to look into the alleged incidents in the last phase of the war.=

"Once a respected country among a community of civilised nations today our government is facing increasing isolation in the democratic world. It has isolated itself to such a degree that it is compelled to seek company among like minded authoritarian regimes."

The LTTE was vanquished by the military in 2009 after nearly three decades long ethnic war.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014, 19:35


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