ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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International Pressure on Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government offers a predictable response to a US-sponsored resolution.

Even three years after the bloody end to the civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), international pressure continues to grow on Colombo to show accountability for possible war crimes and greater reconciliation with the war- ravaged Tamil majority areas. The government has turned such pressure into an attack on its sovereignty and has used it to further build domestic support by mobilising Sinhala nationalism. In the international arena it has attempted to utilise geopolitical contestations to lessen the impact of global condemnation.

The latest development is a proposed resolution tabled by the United States on 7 March in the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) at Geneva. The resolution, which at the time of writing was scheduled to be voted between 21 and 23 March, calls for implementation of various steps related to demilitarisation of the northern Tamil-majority region, investigation of extrajudicial killings and disappearances, and devolution of power as suggested by the government-appointed Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). It calls on the government to submit an action plan/taken report on the recommendations of the commission. The draft resolution also mentions that the LLRC has not addressed issues such as war crimes purportedly committed by armed personnel.

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