UN Hu­man Rights Res­o­lu­tion

Southasia - - Briefing -

The UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil re­cently passed a res­o­lu­tion that com­pels the Sri Lankan govern­ment to con­duct an in­de­pen­dent and cred­i­ble in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged war crimes. Al­though the Sri Lankan army de­feated sep­a­ratist Tamil rebels in 2006 fol­low­ing a three-decade long civil war, it is the last phase of the war that is com­ing un­der scru­tiny. Speak­ing at the UN coun­cil’s pro­ceed­ings, Sri Lanka’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive ar­gued that the res­o­lu­tion would jeop­ar­dize the on­go­ing rec­on­cil­i­a­tion process in Sri Lanka.

More­over, the Sri Lankan del­e­gate ac­cused the U.S. of tar­get­ing coun­tries that do not abide by its po­lit­i­cal agenda. The U.S. is not back­ing the res­o­lu­tion en­tirely as 25 coun­tries are vot­ing in fa­vor of the res­o­lu­tion, 13 voted against it and eight coun­tries did not par­tic­i­pate.

Some sug­gest that the draft urges Sri Lanka to fol­low its own com­mit­ments on po­lit­i­cal de­vo­lu­tion to Tamil ar­eas while the Sri Lankan me­dia min­is­ter views that the is­sues has grown out of pro­por­tion. Apart from the UN, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional also be­lieves that the UN res­o­lu­tion high­lights rights vi­o­la­tions and fails to es­tab­lish an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The UN ac­cuses the Sri Lankan govern­ment of hu­man rights abuses through­out the Tamil con­flict with fo­cus on the events tak­ing place in the fi­nal stages when thou­sands of civil­ians were trapped in a strip of land in the coun­try’s north. A UN re­port es­ti­mates that more than 40,000 peo­ple died in the last five months of the con­flict while the three-year civil war left nearly 100,000 dead. The UN is ac­cus­ing the Sri Lankan govern­ment of al­leged war crimes since the 2011 re­port com­mis­sioned by the UN states that most of the civil­ians died be­cause of govern­ment shelling.

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