OISL report had “set out clearly the path we intend to take”

UNHRC voteSri Lanka said that the recommendations of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Investigation into Sri Lanka (OISL) will “receive due attention”, in a statement delivered to the UN Human Rights Council on 30 September 2015.

Sri Lanka’s ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha told the council that the OISL report had “set out clearly the path we intend to take”. “We stated we take note of the Report of the OISL and that we will ensure that its content as well as recommendations receive due attention of the relevant authorities including the new mechanisms that are envisaged to be set up,” he added.

A group of Tamil politicians attending the discussion on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, called on the Council to push for justice for the victims of the war.

Tamil National Alliance members Suresh Premachandran, Ananthi Sasitharan and M.K. Sivajilingam expressed disappointment with the efforts of the Government in addressing accountability.  Tamil National Political Front member Gajan Ponnambalam several NGOs and Permanent Representatives of foreign Governments also spoke at the discussion.

In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council during the general debate on Sri Lanka on 30 September 2015, Human Rights Watch Geneva Director, John Fisher stressed the need for effective foreign participation to build trust of victims and that the Sri Lanka’s government must implement important recommendations of the Office of the High Commissioners report into Sri Lanka’s atrocities, including supporting the set up of a “dedicated OHCHR office in the country.”

The International Committee of Jurists said that Sri Lanka should subject itself to the ICC by signing the Rome Statute.

Estonia and Switzerland invited Sri Lanka to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a guarantee against non-recurrence, while calling on Sri Lanka to reform its criminal code.Switzerland called on Sri Lanka “to amend its Criminal Code in order to fully integrate war crimes offences, crimes against humanity, genocide and forced disappearance with retroactive effect and while guaranteeing their imprescriptibility. It urges Sri Lanka to commit so that crimes do not go unpunished.”

Switzerland also called on Sri Lanka to “develop a credible transitional justice process with international participation and reform its institutions and its laws.”

Switzerland wanted the Government of Sri Lanka to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and to accept the jurisdiction of the Court from 1 July 2002 according to Article 12 paragraph 3 of this instrument.”

The UK reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Sri Lanka towards meaningful justice, reparation and long-term peace and stability in Sri Lanka whilst urging the wider international community to join efforts in doing so.

The European Union called on the Sri Lankan government to implement the “immediate adoption of essential confidence building measures” for the victims of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict.

Japanese representative to the UN Human Rights Council  said that Japan will station a special peace and reconciliation envoy in Sri Lanka and that he will be taking position in October.

Russia underlined the need for allowing Lanka to choose the kind of help it wants from the international community, and to decide where it wants help and to what extent.

Pakistan said that Sri Lanka should be appreciated for defeating terrorism and appealed to the Western world not to be too critical of it as the West had also committed atrocities. If the UNHRC goes for a country-specific resolution it should be acceptable to that country as in the current case, Pakistan said. Sri Lanka is a co-sponsor of a resolution on itself.

The Fijian delegated said that Lanka should be given time and space to bring reconciliation and accountability.

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