Cosmetic changes made to US draft resolution on Sri Lanka
By P K Balachandran | ENS - COLOMBO
16th March 2013 10:39 AM
The US has reportedly modified its draft resolution on Sri Lanka, which is to be debated at the ongoing 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. But the changes seem cosmetic, leaving the tough provisions of the March 7 draft intact.
For example, the latest draft substitutes the word “encourages” for “urges” in the paragraph calling upon the Lankan government to conduct an “independent and credible international investigation” into alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law during the conflict.
The term “urges” yields place to “encourages” in the section seeking “unfettered access” to UN Special Rapporteurs on human rights issues. However, the sting remains in the draft. A paragraph praising the Lankan government for its achievements in reconstruction, resettlement and demining, which was there in the earlier draft, has been reportedly struck off.
‘Still counting war dead’
Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has been told that the Sri Lankan government is still counting the civilian dead, three years after the end of Eelam War IV.
The Lankan government’s chief spokesman at the 22nd session of the UNHRC, Mahinda Samarasinghe, said on Friday, that a “ground verification” of the various causes of deaths during the war years, was in progress. “After the ground verification, we will be able to gain an accurate picture of the causes of civilian deaths,” he said.
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