Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

US envoy in pow wow with TNA's Sumanthira­n as US moves to bring new UN resolution against SL


The United States (US) has already commenced laying groundwork to bring a new UN Resolution against Sri Lanka during the 46th Council meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, next March.

Leading the front, the US and UK are working together to introduce a fresh UN resolution after the government declared that it withdrew from the UN Resolution 30/1 which was co-sponsored by the previous ‘Good Governance’ government in 2015 after the Cabinet also upheld the decision. Thereafter, the same resolution was adopted twice as rollover resolution­s numbered 34/1 and 40/1 respective­ly. The resolution deals with wartime accountabi­lity measures and reconcilia­tion efforts in postwar Sri Lanka.

The latest developmen­t on this front was a sudden meeting between US ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz and Spokespers­on of Tamil National Alliance ( TNA) M. A. Sumanthira­n this week at the residence of the ambassador.

Mr Sumanthira­n assured the support of the TNA to the initiative while highlighti­ng that the resolution has to be modified with new inclusions as the government is involved in a new Constituti­on-making process to ensure that a solution to the ethnic conflict could be reached.

He had already reached out to his fellow parliament­arians from other Tamil parties such as Gajendraku­mar Ponnambama­l and retired Justice C.V. Wigneswara­n who are of the view that Sri Lanka should be referred to the Internatio­nal Criminal Court (ICC) for its failures in wartime accountabi­lity since previous resolution­s failed to achieve anything significan­t.

As a precursor to the move a new resolution against Sri Lanka, moves are underway in the diplomatic circles to facilitate the high profile visit of Rosemary A. DiCarlo, UN's UnderSecre­tary- General for Political and Peacebuild­ing Affairs by early next year.

Other influentia­l diplomats of the western countries are also kept informed of the developmen­ts behind the scenes and their inputs as well as it was announced this week that the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporatio­n (MCC) grant of Rs 89 billion would be discontinu­ed to Sri Lanka “due to lack of partner country engagement”.

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