Rights diplomats struggle to find Sri Lanka compromise

GENEVA, May 27, 2009 (AFP) – The UN Human Rights Council reconvened its special session on Sri Lanka Wednesday with diplomats struggling to bridge an Asian-Western divide over the rights situation and a probe into abuses. Sri Lanka, backed by Asian countries including China, India and Pakistan, tabled a revised draft resolution late Monday which glosses over Western demands for a probe into rights abuses by both the government and rebels during the long conflict.

However, a western diplomat “deplored” the move, telling AFP that the document was “just as problematic” as the one proposed by Sri Lanka and its allies ahead of the meeting.

The proposal “condemns” all Tamil Tiger attacks and “welcomes… the liberation by the Government of Sri Lanka of tens of thousands of its citizens that were kept by the LTTE against their will as hostages, as well as the efforts by the Government to ensure safety and security for all Sri Lankans and bringing permanent peace to the country.”

It also “commends” the measures taken by Colombo to address the needs of those displaced by the civil war.

“We deplore strongly the attitude and method taken by Sri Lanka,” said the western diplomat, saying that Colombo’s new dra