The US Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council, Eileen Donahoe, chaired today an informal session to introduce their resolution on reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.
During one of the most dramatic informal consultations –with a UN security guard by the doors– the Sri Lankan Attorney-General challenged the premise and necessity of this draft, which he categorically rejected and refused to engage in a dialogue on it. He called the consultation a “farce,” adding that “might is not right.” He was supported by Egypt on behalf of NAM, Russia, China, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Philippines, Algeria and other NAM countries. They all stressed that they oppose country-specific resolution and that the text will have no effect without the consent of the concerned country. Cuba challenged the US Ambassador by asking her to submit a resolution on Guantanamo if they are so concerned with accountability issues.
Denmark for the EU, France, the UK, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Norway and others supported the US initiative, calling it timely and necessary. The EU also said they would like to see a reference in the text to the report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka. One of their recommendations is for the Council to reverse its resolution praising Sri Lanka for its actions during the 2009 civil war that left thousands of civilians dead.