Sri Lanka envoys in Geneva return to their old tricks: Human Rights Watch

human rights watch

Sep 24, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s envoys in Geneva have returned to their old tricks by proposing amendment after amendment to the US backed draft resolution, Human Rights Watch said.

Geneva Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch, John Fisher said China, Russia, and Cuba under the guise of ‘constructive engagement’ have endorsed Sri Lanka’s ignoble efforts.

“The Sri Lankan delegation seeks to strip away all references to implement the report’s recommendations, including international participation in a justice mechanism and ending impunity,”

“Virtually no paragraph was left unscathed.” Fisher said.

Head of Sri Lankan mission in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, however, says there is a real danger in the current approach and will leave room for negative interpretation helping ‘spoilers’ in this process.

“Certain paragraphs which are repetitive, judgmental and prescriptive are not in keeping with the spirit of the process of reconciliation and reform that is underway in my country,” he said.

Aryasinha said many paragraphs in the current draft are in fact counterproductive to the reconciliation efforts of the government.

“Certain terminology used such as ‘verification’, is new and intrusive language to be presented in a human rights resolution.” he added.

Amended resolution is likely to be tabled taking into consideration the various proposals and counter proposals put forward for the first resolution.

President Sirisena who is currently in New York to address the UN General Assembly is scheduled to meet several UN Human Rights officials at the sidelines of the assembly.

Global Tamil Forum which is the largest Tamil Diaspora organization currently mounting pressure over an international investigation for the alleged war crimes committed during the final stages of three decade civil war.

Speaking at a discussion of Global Tamil Forum in London TNA parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran has said that TNA had no trust in a local judicial mechanism and which is why they are pushing for ‘internationalized prosecutions’.

Sri Lankan Human Rights activist Dr. Nimalka Fernando who is currently in Geneva to participate in informal sessions on US resolution said the Geneva resolution must affirm a hybrid court.

Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha in a conversation with chairperson

Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha in a conversation with chairperson