Question & Answer Sheet on theResolution tabled at the United Nations HumanRights Council on Sri Lanka(March 2012)
This document provides basic information on the United Nations Human Rights Council(UNHRC), the proposed resolution on Sri Lanka at the present 19
Session of the UNHRCand its implications. This document aims to clarify some of the basic facts anddevelopments and dispel any misinformation and myths regarding the resolution and itsimpact on Sri Lanka and its people.
What is the United Nations Human Rights Council?
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is an inter-governmental body withinthe United Nations (UN) system responsible for strengthening the promotion and protectionof human rights around the globe, and for addressing situations of human rights violationsand making recommendations on them. The UNHRC is made up of 47 UN member stateselected by the UN General Assembly in New York. The UNHRC is based in Geneva.
Is Sri Lanka a member of the UNHRC?
No. Sri Lanka lost its seat at the UNHRC in an election held in 2008.
What are the ongoing developments at the UNHRC regarding Sri Lanka?
The United States of America (USA) has tabled a draft resolution at the 19
Session of theUNHRC to discuss the human rights situation in Sri Lanka including the implementation of the Government’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
What is the LLRC?
The LLRC is a presidential commission of inquiry appointed by the President of Sri Lanka,Mahinda Rajapaksa on 15
May 2010 to examine the causes of the conflict, its impact on thepeople and to suggest recommendations to promote national unity and reconciliation and toidentify mechanisms for restitution to the people affected by the conflict. The eight-member commission conducted hearings in Colombo and in some districts, although many of those wanting to give testimony outside of Colombo were unable due to lack of time andinadequate planning. Reports have also surfaced of witnesses who provided criticaltestimony on human rights violations being subsequently threatened and harassed. Thecommission handed over its final report to the president on 20
November 2011. Themultiple recommendations covered a variety of issues including the need for furtherinvestigations into violations committed during the war, introducing a Right to InformationAct, assistance for the displaced, addressing demilitarisation and disarmament of armedgroups and the need for a political solution among others. While some groups see therecommendations in a positive light, others have critiqued them for being inadequate, whileother groups have criticized the LLRC for exceeding its mandate.
What has happened to the LLRC's recommendations?
While the Government made the report public in December 2011 and has made numerousstatements that it will implement the recommendations, the Government has neitherprovided a list of recommendations that it has implemented so far nor indicated a process