Human Rights Council demands Sri Lanka war investigations

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Human Rights Council

The UN Human Rights Council has voted in favor of a resolution calling on Sri Lanka to investigate abuses committed during the final days of the country's civil war.

24 member states of the council supported the resolution which was sponsored by the United States.

15 member states including China, Russia and Cuba voted against. There were 8 abstentions.

US Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe said the resolution was the result of failure by Sri Lanka to implement recommendations for credible investigations into widespread allegations of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

“It's almost three years since the end of Sri Lanka's long and painful conflict. For those three years Sri Lanka has had time and space to develop its own roadmap for lasting national reconciliation and accountability. Most recently we have encouraged Sri Lanka to address actions taken on both sides of the conflict through its domestic Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission. An enduring peace will be unsustainable without meaningful steps to foster national reconciliation and accountability.”

Sri Lankan Minister for plantations and special envoy for Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said the resolution was misconceived and presumptuous that the country was not committed to the process of national reconciliations.

"The draft resolution as presented today seeks to create doubt in a sovereign and independent country's intent, resolve and capacity to implement the recommendations of it's domestic mechanism, without according to it a reasonable time for implementation."

Sri Lanka defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 ending nearly 30 years of civil war.

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