‘Refer the Sri Lankan situation to ICC’ – UK MP urges the PM Johnson

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson Portrait
(By Akitha Wijayasinghe)
UK Liberal Democratic Leader, Ed Davey urged the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to include a recommendation to refer the Sri Lankan situation to the International Criminal Court.
Writing to the Prime Minister, Ed Davey criticizes the proposed resolution on Sri Lanka, stating that it has failed completely to rise to the challenge.
Time and again, the UK has played a vital role in leading collective action on international accountability in Sri Lanka. At the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council, which is currently underway, the UK has a real opportunity to continue in this proud tradition.
But unfortunately, the draft resolution completely fails to rise to this challenge. As it stands,
the draft resolution is too vague and lacks robust commitment to international accountability
In the letter to the prime minister, MP Davey states that the proposed draft resolution also fails to incorporate the recommendations laid out in the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report on Sri Lanka that was published earlier this year.
The High Commissioner portrayed a damning picture of the situation in Sri Lanka, making it clear that
domestic mechanisms for reconciliation, accountability and human rights have drastically
eroded in the past few years, the leader of the Liberal Democrats has added.
In his statement, he also highlights that the resolution is “too vague and lacks robust commitment to international accountability mechanisms”.
Davey proposes that the resolution should be immediately rewritten to include the following recommendations ;
* Recommend the Sri Lankan situation to the International Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute serious international crimes committed in Sri Lanka against the Tamils.
* Establish a proper International Independent Investigative Mechanism relating to Sri Lanka to collect evidence and prepare files for prosecution.
* Incorporate the High Commissioner’s recommendations from her January 2021 report, particularly her view that the principles of universal and extraterritorial jurisdiction must apply to the actions of the Sri Lankan government and military.
* Take a strong stance on prevention, including tangible measures to support and protect civil society groups and human rights defenders who are working on the ground in Sri Lanka.
The British MP has emphasized in his statement that it has never been more important for the UK to lead strong collective action on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka and a comprehensive, robust Human Rights Council resolution is an important first step and has implored the British PM to do everything in the Prime Minister’s power to revise the resolution draft.
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