No Global Probe Team Angle in US Resolution on Lanka - The New Indian Express

No Global Probe Team Angle in US Resolution on Lanka

Published: 02nd February 2014 07:48 AM

Last Updated: 02nd February 2014 07:48 AM

The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Desai Biswal, has indicated that the US resolution on Sri Lanka to be presented at the March session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will call for a credible and independent “Sri Lanka-led” investigation into charges of war crimes allegedly committed by the Lankan armed forces in the last phase of Eelam War IV.

Briefing the media here at the end of her talks with Lankan leaders both from the North and the South, Biswal appeared to rule out a resolution calling for an international investigation for the time being at least.

She said while she cannot say what exactly the resolution will be like, the international community is clearly “frustrated” with the slow pace of the progress in Lanka in addressing issues of accountability, reconciliation, justice, democracy and human rights. And there are calls for an international investigation. But the US itself would like Lanka to conduct its own investigations in a transparent and credible manner, she said. The US has given $ 2.2 million for a forensic unit to conduct scientific investigations. 

The progress shown by Lanka since the last UNHRC resolution in March 2013 has been “insufficient” and the patience of the international community is “wearing thin,” she pointed out. There are wide gaps in the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

She pointed out that the situation in Lanka has “deteriorated” in terms of governance. Corruption, the absence of the Rule of Law, disregard of human rights and the violation of religious rights seen in the attacks on mosques and churches are all causing concern.

Many persons are still missing. Biswal said that if the Rajapaksa regime wins election after election it is because the media is not allowed to function freely. She said that the space for a free media has shrunk.

Biswal ruled out economic sanctions but warned that Lanka will be left behind in the global race for economic development if it does not ensure justice, reconciliation and Rule of Law on its soil.

On Friday, the SL Minister of External Affairs, G L Peiris, told Biswal that the US bid to hound Lanka with resolutions at the UNHRC, will polarize the Sinhalese and Tamils, and hamper ethnic reconciliation.

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