Resolution 40/1 on Human Rights, Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka’ submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council about Sri Lanka, which allows anyone to be prosecuted in any country for war crimes or serious human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. It was passed by a double votes yesterday(23).
22 member states voted in favour of the resolution, 11 against the resolutions and 14 abstained from voting.
Regional countries such as India, Nepal and Japan abstained from voting. Regional countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh voted against the resolution. Other countries that voted against were China, Russia, Cuba, Eritrea, Bolivia, the Philippines, Somalia, Uzbekistan and Venezuela. Rajapaksa ally Ukraine also voted in favour of the resolution against the Gota regime. The 22 countries that voted in favor were England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Denmark, Austria, Armenia, Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Brazil, Bulgaria, South Korea, Ukraine, Uruguay, Mexico, Marshall Islands, Malawi, Fiji, Ivory Coast and Bahamas. In the resolution that defeated Sri Lanka a year ago, Sri Lanka had 12 votes in favour, but this time it has been reduced to one.
The gruesome Gota government of Sri Lanka worked hard to defeat this resolution and hoped to defeat it, especially with the help of Muslim countries.
The most important elements of this proposal..
The most important elements of this resolution are the following responsibilities of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“Recognizes the importance of preserving and analysing evidence relating to violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes in Sri Lanka with a view to advancing accountability, and decides to strengthen in this regard the capacity of the Office of the High Commissioner to collect, consolidate, analyse and preserve information and evidence and to develop possible strategies for future accountability processes for gross violations of human rights or serious violations of international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka, to advocate for victims and survivors, and to support relevant judicial and other proceedings, including in Member States, with competent jurisdiction”
Accordingly, a special unit will be set up in the office of the High Commissioner, which will include lawyers. It will receive a $ 2.8 million budget over the next 22 months. This unit will provide information needed to prosecute anyone in any country for war crimes or serious human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.
The resolution also recommends that the Commissioner for Human Rights submit three reports within the next 22 months to conduct a regular inquiry into the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.
This is an unprecedented development. This shows the recognition of the world community that the human rights situation in Sri Lanka is deteriorating.
Requests the Office of the High Commissioner to enhance its monitoring and reporting on the situation of human rights in Sri Lanka, including on progress in reconciliation and accountability, and to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its 48th session, and a written update at its 49th session and a comprehensive report that includes further options for advancing accountability at its 51st session, both to be discussed in the context of interactive dialogue.
Responsibilities assigned to the Gotabaya regime Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan government has a number of responsibilities that will be investigated by those reports. They are:
9. Calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure the prompt, thorough and impartial investigation and, if warranted, prosecution of all alleged crimes relating to human rights violations and serious violations of international humanitarian law, including for longstanding emblematic cases.
10. Also calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure the effective and independent functioning of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, the Office on Missing Persons and the Office for Reparations to deliver on their respective mandates as established.
11. Further calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to protect civil society actors, including human rights defenders, to investigate any attacks and to ensure a safe and enabling environment in which civil society can operate free from hindrance, surveillance, insecurity and threat of reprisals.
12. Requests the Government of Sri Lanka to review the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and to ensure that any legislation on combating terrorism complies fully with the State’s international human rights and humanitarian law obligations.
13. Urges the Government of Sri Lanka to foster freedom of religion or belief and pluralism by promoting the ability of all religious communities to manifest their religion, and to contribute openly and on an equal footing to society.
14. Encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to continue to cooperate with the special procedures of the Human Rights Council, including by responding formally to outstanding requests from them.
Gota regime has completely ignored this.
The Bestial Gota government has already stated that it will completely ignore this resolution, and under such circumstances, a tougher resolution is likely to be tabled in September.
The resolution does not impose economic sanctions on Gota regime. Often such measures are taken by individual countries.
The image shows how the countries voted.
The full resolution is given below.
Lanka e news special agent from Geneva