The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has granted Sri Lanka the two-year extension it sought to probe into the alleged war crimes committed during the three-decade long civil war that ended in 2009.
The resolution granting the country the extension was approved by 40 including the United States and the United Kingdom. It was adopted without a vote on 23 March 2017.
• The resolution welcomed the steps taken by Sri Lanka to implement the UNHRC resolution that was adopted in October 2015.
• It also called for the country to fully implement the outstanding issues.
• The UNHRC chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein however, did express his concern over Sri Lanka’s slow progress in fulfilling its obligation of establishing justice mechanisms to address the accountability on the war crimes.
• Hussein also emphasised on the need of building a comprehensive strategy, with a proper timeline and detailed benchmarks to address all the transitional justice pillars identified in Resolution 30/1.
Harsha De Silva, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka in a statement said that Sri Lanka is fully committed to the reconciliation and accountability agenda with a victim-centred approach.
The Sri Lankan government’s slow progress in the war crimes probe has been heavily criticised by the minority groups and human rights activists in the country.