2ND LEAD (Congressional Record added)
US Senate Resolution calls for accountability for Sri Lanka war crimes
[TamilNet, Thursday, 03 March 2011, 03:37 GMT]
United States Senate unanimously passed resolution S. Res. 84 introduced by Senator Casey which commended UN Secretary General for appointing a panel to advise UNSG on Sri Lanka's human rights accountability and called "on the Government of Sri Lanka, the international community, and the United Nations to establish an independent international accountability mechanism to look into reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations committed by both sides during and after the war in Sri Lanka and to make recommendations regarding accountability," as one of the four elements of the resolution.
Senator Casey (D-Pennsylvania)
Mr. Casey, US Democratic Senator for Pennsylvania, submitted for himself, Mr. Burr, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Leahy, Mrs. Boxer, Mrs. Hagan, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Manchin, Mr. Udall of New Mexico, and Mr. Lautenberg, the following resolution which was considered and agreed to.
Whereas May 19, 2010, marked the one-year anniversary of the end of the 26-year conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government of Sri Lanka;
Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka established a Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to report whether any person, group, or institution directly or indirectly bears responsibility for incidents that occurred between February 2002 and May 2009 and to recommend measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future and promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities;
Whereas United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a panel of experts, including Marzuki Darusman, the former attorney general of Indonesia; Yazmin Sooka, a member of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and Steven Ratner, a lawyer in the United States specializing in human rights and international law, to advise the Secretary-General on the implementation of the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to human rights accountability;
Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka expressed its commitment to addressing the needs of all ethnic groups and has recognized, in the past, the necessity of a political settlement and reconciliation for a peaceful and just society;
Whereas the United States Government has yet to develop a comprehensive United States policy toward Sri Lanka that reflects the broad range of human rights, national security, and economic interests; and
Whereas progress on domestic and international investigations into reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations during the conflict and promoting reconciliation would facilitate enhanced United States engagement and investment in Sri Lanka: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate--
- commends United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for creating the three-person panel to advise the Secretary-General on the implementation of the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to human rights accountability;
- calls on the Government of Sri Lanka, the international community, and the United Nations to establish an independent international accountability mechanism to look into reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations committed by both sides during and after the war in Sri Lanka and to make recommendations regarding accountability;
- calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to allow humanitarian organizations, aid agencies, journalists, and international human rights groups greater freedom of movement, including in internally-displaced persons camps; and
- calls upon the President to develop a comprehensive policy towards Sri Lanka that reflects United States interests, including respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, economic interests, and security interests.
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