US Lawmakers Criticize Govt.’s LLRC Action Plan
A group of 31 US lawmakers has stated that the “National Action Plan to Implement the Recommendations of the LLRC” released by the Sri Lankan government does not mandate that specific actions be taken on even easily accomplishable recommendations, nor does it set firm timetables of any kind.
In a letter addressed to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the law makers have noted that the Action Plan that was released in July merely sets up further committees and organizational bodies to “consider” the LLRC recommendations.
The group has indicated that the Sri Lankan government was engaged in delaying tactics and that without persistent US involvement, it was likely that these delaying tactics will continue.
According to the US lawmakers, there is no indication that the UNHRC resolution has had any significant impact on the Sri Lankan government’s response to the issue.
The lawmakers have urged the US government to continue engagement with Sri Lanka based on the recently adopted UNHRC resolution.
“We believe that the State Department must ensure that its diplomatic efforts yield fruitful and meaningful results via further U.S. action and engagement on reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. With the impending evaluation of Sri Lanka’s compliance with the UNHRC resolution in March 2013, there is an added sense of urgency to this request. It would be all too easy for the Rajapaksa administration to make excuses for failing to adhere to its obligations at the next HRC session without strong oversight from the State Department,” the letter states.
They have noted that the report submitted by the LLRC had represented an initial move by the Sri Lankan Government to address the failure of the ceasefire agreement.
“The LLRC report became the basis for discussion for the March 22nd adoption of Resolution 19/L.2, “Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka,” at the 19th U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session.
The resolution signaled an important step forward in placing additional pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka to implement constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC report, while also noting that the report failed to adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law,” the letter noted.
The letter further states, “Despite these initial steps toward reconciliation and accountability, we remain concerned that the Government of Sri Lanka will resist taking the good faith steps necessary to implement both its obligations under the UNHRC Resolution and the LLRC Report.
Government ministers maintain that the LLRC overstepped its mandate and some claim that the government will take credible action on only a portion of the LLRC recommendations. For instance, the LLRC report criticizes the heavy militarization of the North and East. Three years after the end of the war, there is still a checkpoint for entrance to the North and frequent checkpoints throughout the region.”