US calls for a detailed action plan from Sri Lanka on LLRC recommendations

Feb 24, Colombo: The United States says it expected the Sri Lankan government to announce a detailed action plan to address the reconciliation and accountability issues when the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission was released but to date it has not seen any plan from the government on how the recommendations made by the Commission will be implemented.

At the daily press briefing on Thursday, the US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said the United States supported allowing the domestic commission appointed by the Sri Lankan government to have time and space to carry out its work and believed that an action plan would be announced when that report was made public.

The LLRC appointed by the Sri Lankan President to probe the last seven years of the conflict with the LTTE released its report in December 2011.

The Spokesperson said the US was very consistent in its dialogue with the Government of Sri Lanka regarding the issue of reconciliation and accountability and wanted the government to follow up on some of the recommendations from the report subsequent to the report’s publication.

Welcoming the LLRC report, the Spokesperson said it includes many strong recommendations that, when implemented, could help improve and contribute to genuine reconciliation and strengthening of democratic institutions and practices in Sri Lanka.

“But to date, frankly, we’ve not seen a detailed action plan from the Government of Sri Lanka on how it’s going to implement these recommendations,” Toner said adding that the US is still encouraging Sri Lanka to “move forward to take concrete steps on this implementation plan.”

The Spokesman noted that while encouraging Sri Lanka the US is working with its partners in Geneva on a resolution within the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that will call for actions on important steps towards reconciliation.

The United States had earlier said that it will support the resolution to pressure the Sri Lankan government to take prompt measures to implement the LLRC recommendations and address the accountability issues.

“But I think our goal ultimately is the same here: We want to see these recommendations implemented and so that they can help lead towards reconciliation,” he said.

Responding to a question whether there is a concerted effort by the United States and a desire to pass a resolution, the Spokesperson said the US would not be pursuing a resolution otherwise.

The Spokesperson however, stressed that the US would support the local efforts to address those issues but would engage in international mechanisms if appropriate.

Pointing out that it is just two months after the release of LLRC report, the Sri Lankan government says the presentation of a resolution against the country is unwarranted and counterproductive at this time when the government is in the process of implementing the recommendations made in the LLRC report.

A high-level ministerial delegation led by External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris is already in Geneva to woo the support of the member states of UNHRC against the resolution.

The delegation is scheduled to meet representatives of other countries, especially, Sri Lanka’s friendly countries such as China, Cuba and Russia, to hold discussions during the next few days.

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