UN Human Rights Resolution
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.