By Colombo Telegraph –
Centre for Policy Alternatives has issued a document which aims to clarify some of the basic facts and developments and dispel any misinformation and myths regarding the resolution and its impact on Sri Lanka and its people. The full document is reproduced below.
Question & Answer Sheet on the Resolution tabled at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka
This document provides basic information on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the proposed resolution on Sri Lanka at the present 19th Session of the UNHRC and its implications. This document aims to clarify some of the basic facts and developments and dispel any misinformation and myths regarding the resolution and its impact on Sri Lanka and its people.
Access this document online here, where you can also download it as a PDF, embed it on most websites and easily share on online social media platforms. Access the Sinhala translation of this document here.
What is the United Nations Human Rights Council?
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations (UN) system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe, and for addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them. The UNHRC is made up of 47 UN member states elected by the UN General Assembly in New York. The UNHRC is based in Geneva.
Is Sri Lanka a member of the UNHRC?
No. Sri Lanka lost its seat at the UNHRC in an election held in 2008.
What are the ongoing developments at the UNHRC regarding Sri Lanka?
The United States of America (USA) has tabled a draft resolution at the 19th Session of the UNHRC to discuss the human rights situation in Sri Lanka including the implementation of the Government’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
What is the LLRC?
The LLRC is a presidential commission of inquiry appointed by the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa on 15th May 2010 to examine the causes of the conflict, its impact on the people and to suggest recommendations to promote national unity and reconciliation and to identify mechanisms for restitution to the people affected by the conflict. The eight-member commission conducted hearings in Colombo and in some districts, although many of those wanting to give testimony outside of Colombo were unable due to lack of time and inadequate planning. Reports have also surfaced of witnesses who provided critical testimony on human rights violations being subsequently threatened and harassed. The commission handed over its final report to the president on 20th November 2011. The multiple recommendations covered a variety of issues including the need for further investigations into violations committed during the war, introducing a Right to Information Act, assistance for the displaced, addressing demilitarisation and disarmament of armed groups and the need for a political solution among others. While some groups see the recommendations in a positive light, others have critiqued them for being inadequate, while other groups have criticized the LLRC for exceeding its mandate.
What has happened to the LLRC’s recommendations?
While the Government made the report public in December 2011 and has made numerous statements that it will implement the recommendations, the Government has neither provided a list of recommendations that it has implemented so far nor indicated a process for implementation. Nor has there been significant progress with the interim recommendations issued by the LLRC in September 2010 – a point noted by the LLRC in its final report.
What does the draft resolution sponsored by the US aim to do?
The draft resolution has three main suggestions:
- Calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations in the LLRC report and take all necessary additional steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans.
- Requests that the Government of Sri Lanka present a comprehensive action plan as expeditiously as possible detailing the steps the Government has taken and will take to implement the LLRC recommendations and also to address alleged violations of international law.
- Encourages the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special procedures to provide, and the Government of Sri Lanka to accept, advice and technical assistance on implementing those steps and requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present a report to the Council on the provision of such assistance at its twenty-second session.
The first two paragraphs request the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the findings of its own LLRC – none of which have been implemented even four months after the report was handed over to the Government. The third paragraph calls for support for the Government of Sri Lanka to implement these findings through the assistance of various UN actors.
The resolution does not call for sanctions, military intervention or punitive action against the Government of Sri Lanka. The only requirement by the Government is to provide a plan as to how the LLRC will be implemented, a simple requirement that will also provide information to the citizens of Sri Lanka and others as to how the Government will set about fulfilling their obligations.
What will the impact be on Sri Lanka if the draft resolution is passed at the UNHRC?
The resolution is focused on getting the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of its own LLRC and to explain how it is implementing them. This is needed when no public information is available in Sri Lanka on whether and how the LLRC is to be implemented. It is also in a context when previous commission findings, including those appointed by this Government, have not been implemented. The resolution provides for the support of the UNHRC, other member states of the UN and other actors who can provide technical assistance to fully implement the LLRC findings.
The Government and other actors have criticized the resolution as being an attempt to intervene in the domestic affairs of Sri Lanka. The resolution does not contain provisions where any actor can interfere in domestic issues in Sri Lanka and is proposed to support the Government of Sri Lanka fulfill its obligations.
How can the resolution support long-term reconciliation and peace in Sri Lanka?
The LLRC has some positive recommendations on human rights, governance, reconciliation and devolution and if implemented fully can help strengthen peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. It also provides an opportunity for the Government of Sri Lanka to obtain technical assistance from experts in the UN who can support the Government in its implementation.
Malinda Seneviratne / March 15, 2012
The Stuff Left Out
CPA pooh-poohed the LLRC.
Saravanamuttu maintained near silence when Govt representatives responded to allegations.
Saravanamuttu and his team of vociferous Tiger defenders and anti-Sri Lanka operators called off 2 planned side-events in Geneva.
The Resolution violates the spirit and substance of the HRC.
CPA has nothing to say about double standards of the architects of this resolution.
Saroja / March 16, 2012
If CPA is the architect of the resolution, I will congratulate the Lankans, at least even there is one body that had made such difference and hope for the future. Be it gender issue or collective rights, the human right defenders have lost their sense and sensitivities to confront the violations and degradations.
Max Silva / March 15, 2012
At long last the CPA has come on stage to make it’s performance felt.I don’t know what they had been doing back stage,but their appearance is welcome.Now that Rayappu Joseph had performed a creditable performance on stage playing the role of discriminated holy saint(deserves an Oscar award),here comes CPA.Mind you still this is a preview.The real action will begin once the Yankee resolution is passed(it’s a foregone conclusion that it will go through). I am sure that other actors and actresses in the caliber of Sunanda Deshapriya,Jehan Perera,Nimalka Fernando,David etc and not to mention boss of CPA, the greatest champion of human rights Pakyasothi are all prepared with the proper makeup and costumes provided by our good old uncle Sam, to come on stage.I am really enjoying this stage drama with my mouth in my heart.Forget Last Tango in Paris,forget Marlon Brando.This is the real thing.I am sure that the two villains in this drama that naughty fellow Mahinda and Gotta will appear on stage at the right time.If not we can leave it to uncle Sam to drag these two fellows in Ghadaffi style.After all what a crime these two fellows committed in bumping off that wonderful human being Prabakaran!
Pakyasothi comes forward to educate poor souls like us regarding the misinformation carried out by the villains against the holy resolution.Paky how unfortunate for us that there aren’t many honest living saints like you on this miserable island?Oh! very rich saints,ah!Paky we trust you, we believe you.After all, this resolution is nothing much.Just getting technical assistance from that lady Navaneetham Pillay.With such technical assistance we should have no problem in sending Mahinda and Gotta to the electric chair.My dear Paky pl make sure that my share of Champagne is kept in a safe place.Once these two viillains are sent to the electric chair,i just can imagine our folks dancing on the streets all over the island.With reconciliation achieved the sinhalese will be kissing Tamils all over.I have to be quick here so that i will have a beautiful Tamil girl for reconciliation.But sending those two villains to the gallows is not enough.We need a new president for Srilanka,oops sorry Ealam.Of course it will be none other than president in waiting,H.E.Rudrakumaran.You can be assured of my participation to welcome Rudra at the Prabakaran International airport,Katunayaka with Ealam flag waiving.Hope that the Cardinal of Ealam,Rayappu will not fail to show his mug face at the airport.The end!Oh hold on!How about my role?Wait Paky wait.I will show you how good an actor i am.That will come in the second part.
Oh!by the way Paky how much money did you fleece from those gullible foreigners to write this piece of shit?$10 million?May be more.I am sure that you must be having a real ball.Blood and flesh is big business,eh!
Lets all sing Namo Namo Ealam!Good luck Paky!You are going to need all the luck in the coming days!
PS,Any news of your friend the swindler Sunanda Deshapriya?
A.S.U. Kumar / March 15, 2012
“Once these two viillains are sent to the electric chair,…” ? !!
Lanka Muslim, UK / March 15, 2012
The document issued by the CPA is a useful one which briefly explains in simple language the importance of the US Resolution before the UNHRC which wowill help Sri Lanka to constructively move forward as a peaceful and stable nation. The document dispels all unrelated and negative propaganda made by the SL Govt and its allies misleading the people and creating un-necessary animosity towards Sri Lanka in the international fora. The Govt. has not even translated the LLRC Report in Sinhala and Tamil thus intentionally keeping the majority ordinary people in the dark so that the people will understand the truth and the usefulness of implementing the recommendations. Same with the US Resolution which simply requires the SL Govt. to implement the LLRC Recommendations and that the international community will help Sri Lanka in this. The CPA should take steps to translate the LLRC Recommendations, the US Resolution in Sinhala and Tamil make it available to the ordinary masses who are not knowledgeable in English.
Max Silva / March 16, 2012
Why waste your time in trying to explain the holy US resolution?We trust the US.We trust the likes of Rayappu,Paki,Jehan,David,Sunila,Nimalka and the rest of NGO vultures.In fact we trust the Tamil Tiger terrorists.Don’t waste your time in trying to explain.If there’s any Sinhalese who don’t fall in line, lets get Uncle Sam to blast their heads off as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan..It doesn’t make much difference if a few million Sinhalese are murdered.We know that the kind hearted Americans are trying to help us.But unfortunately these ignorant Sinhalese don’t understand.When are the defenders of human rights, the US army landing here?If we find any difficulty in finding accommodation for the Yankies,lets turn all the temples into hotels.Paki we know that you are trying to help us.Paki,don’t worry in no time we will return the favor to you.Oh!by the way how much did you fleece from the gullible foreigners for writing this piece of shit?
Mervyn Mendis / March 16, 2012
Mr.Saravanamuttu does not deny the fact that he spoke in very undiplomatic language in Geneva. Wonder if your readers can enlighten me as to any instance that a foreign rep has blasted its own govt. in an international fora, as how these three so called Sri Lankan’s have done in Geneva. After all Sri Lanka is a democratic country and these three NGO’s can apply either to the US or British or some Western embassies for permanent residency. Am sure it would be granted over the counter in fact the Sri Lankan govt should lobby those embassies to grant this request by these three NGO’s
RENU / March 16, 2012
The CPA has very clearly explained the position regarding the resolution.If we don’t accept and implement the LLRC recommendations and also be accountable. CPA should also explain to us what repercussions Sri lanka would have, with 22 countries already willing to vote for it. Let face it facts are stubborn,and the truth has to be revealed at any cost
Raja / March 16, 2012
The CPA is trying to mislead the nation by twisting the true intention of this resolution, which is to take control of the internal affairs of SriLanka by Western powers through its puppet Navi Pillai. The third paragraph in the resolution is reproduced below to show how Navi Pillai a biased person who had attacked Sri Lanka all along, is now proposed to be the supervisor of SriLankan internal processes.
“Encourages the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special procedures to provide, and the Government of Sri Lanka to accept, advice and technical assistance on implementing those steps and requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present a report to the Council on the provision of such assistance at its twenty-second session”
Roshan / March 16, 2012
It is almost a crime to lie to the people and mislead them on a matter of vital national interest. When it is committed by politicians it is an act of unconscionable opportunism. When it is perpetrated by so-called intellectuals belonging to civil society, it is a counterfeiting of the currency of the intellect and the function of the educated, which is to educate the public.
US resolution criticises, surges beyond LLRC
Meegal Rala / March 16, 2012
Why are we getting so worked up on this draft resolution.. What is wrong with Sri Lanka obtaining support from UNHRC to conduct a credible investigation into what really happened during the last phase of the war, unless we have something terrible to hide. In fact Sri Lanka should have made this request on its own to the UNHRC because we have already proven to ourselves and to the outsiders how incompetent of system of investigations we have with our partisan police and musselled judiciary. This was adequately demonstrated in the cases of Lasantha Wicramthunga’s murder and the disapearence of Pradaeep Eknaligoda, besides the kagaroo courtmartials held against Sarath Fonseka.
kural / March 16, 2012
Pakiasothy Should first explain, has USA helped any country in the world except Israel which always behaves as a rotten kid and show middle finger to the dad, USA.
So, by supporting this resolution who he is helping to ?.
Probably, he is one who is willing to sell his own mother because he likes money.
DAS / March 16, 2012
The CPA document is very clear. It explains the intention of the US proposed resolution and the aftermath of its adoption.
But sri lanka rejects the resolution because
a) demilitarisation, especially of tamil areas is a threat to the Military Regime which suppresses civil liberties so that the Rajapakse Regime can strengthen itself and keep all citizens, not only tamils, under subjugation so that the unopposed powerful executive presidency can go on and on, and,
b) War Crimes which have been publicised will be investigated by due process of application of international law,
with exposure of those responsible,
c) Exposure of the so called ‘development’ canard – when the only ‘development’ is the wastage of national resources on megalomaniac ventures which are all ‘white elephants’,
d) the idle army which has been praised & almost deified, and is now living on peoples’ wealth,will turn on the corrupt politicians if it is disbanded, as all countries did, after WW2,
e) Enforcement of Human Rights and Rule of Law will deprive the regime of its totalitarian character and lead to a real peoples’ government with the dumping of the present lot of politicians and the president who are only ‘developing’ themselves.
All the sanctimonious hypocrisy is to prevent all above happening and , thus prevent exposure of the regime and its sycophants.
Max Silva / March 16, 2012
Who is this Paki character to lecture us on human rights?CPA! Nonsense.The Srilankan parliament and the cabinet is entrusted with policy planning.We don,t need any out of town Johnny to plan our policies.There was this guy going by the name of Prabakaran who had alternative policies.Those alternative policies went awash at Nandikadal.If Paki’s blasted heart is bleeding for the innocent Tamils,then how come that he didn’t even offer a single tablet of Panadol to these people?This guy talks about Tamils while blazing in Air conditioned comfort.Does this guy do a job?Any legitimate business?None.He is living in luxury with the money provided by foreigners.Who pays for this fellows air passage to Geneva?Who pays for his star class board and lodging in Geneva?This CPA outfit is a fraud.The gullible foreigners believe that this fellow will help then in breaking Srilanka into two.Very soon these ignorant foreigners will realize that this Johnny had taken them for a right royal ride.To fool these foreigners this Paki character comes out with ludicrous crap on websites in the comfort of star class hotels.A world class conman!But when these foreigners realize that they had been taken for a ride,Paki will have to face the music.Paki remember that the US is the land of Lucky Luciano!
B Ganendra / March 17, 2012
why is srilanka afraid to implement the LLRC report.
Roshan / March 17, 2012
Didn’t a Sri Lankan opposition member, also a young lawyer (whether he passed the exams is another question) do it in the 1980s along with a veteran political leader? Didn’t a young student (became a diplomate later and went on leave with some kind of mind-related issues) speak on behalf of the World Student Christian Federation in the 1980s? I am not suggesting Mahinda when JVP and its percieved supporters were in trouble
It was Mahinda Rajapakse and Vasudeva Nanayakkara who went to Geneva to invite international observers to put pressure on the government in the 89/90 period over human rights violations, says Vasudeva Nanayakkara in an interview with the BBC.
Nanayakkara said that he, himself and current president Mahinda Rajapakse agitated against human rights violations in the country in 1989/90 and even went to Geneva to make the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) aware of abductions and disappearances at the time.
“We even had influenced representatives of the sub committee of IHRC visit Sri Lanka to monitor the situation”, he said.
A civil rights monitoring group in Sri Lanka estimates that the total number taken into custody during 1986 to be in the region of 14,000 persons. Those arrested are detained not in normal detention centres but in army camps located in various parts of the country under degrading conditions.
Most of the arrests, the victims of which, by and large, are Tamils, are effected under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Emergency Regulations. It may he noted that the Prevention of Terrorism Act has been described by the International Commission of Jurists as an ugly blot on the statute hook of any civilised country. Sri Lanka has been ruled by the present government under a state of emergency for most of its life since 1977.
Mr Chairman, it is in this context that many substantiated cases of torture and deaths in custody have been reported, so much so that the Special Rapporteur on Torture has expressed great concern his report referring to Sri Lanka. The suspension of important legal safeguards under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and Emergency Regulations have created conditions conducive to the practice of torture.
Another new but reprehensible development reported during1986 has been the use of detainees as hostages and/or human shields during military operations by security forces.
Peter Casie Chetty / March 23, 2012
This man is a fraud as are Sunanda Deshapriya and Sunila Abeysekera. They formed part of an NGO that never did anything but talk rubbish at meetings. The were involved in various projects that never took off the ground but got a lot publicity and the funds from the US. For example they were supposed to monitor election violence and then were forced to confess that their monitors left areas that had violence between party supporters. It was my question they tried to dodge. No one has ever been prosecuted on evidene given by the CMEV.
Next they said they wanted to see that all chidlren Under 16 were in school instead of hawking on pavements to feed their families when they were sole bread winners. Again they had nothing really contructive done or planned to be done. The Media conference ended with a cup of tea and biscuits and the journalists went off to write for their newspapers. I followed this up to find that there was nothing but a lot of horse dung and they were all living expensive life styles like drug dealers. To me people who do nothing but con are just as bad as drug dealers.