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SL May Be Let Off the Hook Again at UNHRC Meet

2014 Jan 27

By P K Balachandran
Sri Lanka is likely to be let off the hook again at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in March this year, political sources say.

The US, the UK, France and Germany seem determined to seek an independent international inquiry into alleged human rights violations in the last phase of Eelam War IV. But most member countries are likely to support only a mild resolution against Sri Lanka. In March 2013, the harsh US resolution would not have been passed if India had not modified it.

In March this year, the majority may just want to call upon Lanka to move forward more speedily than hitherto, in resolving issues relating to accountability and ethnic reconciliation. TNA leaders, who are clamouring for a strong resolution, privately admit that a strong resolution will fail to get the required votes in the 48-member council. China, Japan, Pakistan, Russia and India will help Lanka lobby hard for a softer resolution. It is said that India and Japan fear that Lanka will veer more towards China if pushed to a corner.

Japanese peace envoy Yasushi Akashi is trying to get the US to look for a softer option. Stephen Rapp, US Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, did tell the TNA that the US will push for an international investigation, but the US embassy report at the end of his Lankan visit said nothing of that sort.

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