Feb 14, 2019

Geneva resolution : UK to lead lobbying for an extension Featured

Britain has taken the lead in lobbying for an extension of the four year period given to Sri Lanka by the UN to implement justice over war crime and human rights violation allegations.

They intend to appeal for the extension for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC meeting due to commence at the end of this month, despite appeals made by the war affected mothers to the UNHRC not to allow Sri Lanka further time.

Britain has said that the initial group of Canada, Germany, Macedonia and Montenegro have expressed support for their proposal to grant Sri Lanka further time.

Sri Lanka was granted two years to address these allegations on January 30th 2015, but was granted a further extension of two years in 2017 to abide by their obligations. That period too ends in March.

In an official announcement issued by Britain at the beginning of this week, they stated that the initial five country group would assist Sri Lanka to present a proposal seeking further extension of the time period given to them.

Talks with PM’s Chief of Staff:

Meanwhile a group of high ranking officials from the UNHRC and the UK High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz had met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayake.

However, the details discussed at this meeting have not been disclosed.

But, in a letter to the Human Rights Commissioner, several human rights groups in the North had requested that if Sri Lanka was to be given more time, a specific time frame should be set for the implementation of justice as promised.

A recommendation made by the former Human Rights High Commissioner Prince Said Al Raad Hussain in 2017 requesting that Sri Lanka be given specific time frames to establish the special courts comprising international observers and be given a specific time frame and guidelines, was not accepted by UN member countries.

The UNHRC 40th sessions are scheduled to commence from February 25th to March 22 in Geneva.

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