Time frame to be proposed in Geneva

Easwaran Rutnam

A time frame is expected to be proposed at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva for Sri Lanka to meet its commitments under a resolution it cosponsored in 2017.

Sri Lanka is expected to be given more time to address the human rights issue considering that it has shown some progress since 2017.

However, sources said that Sri Lanka will most likely be pushed to implement all its commitments within a given time frame.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) already raised the need to have a time frame at meetings it had with some diplomats over the past few weeks.

TNA sources said that the TNA hopes to meet more diplomats over the next few weeks to discuss the human rights issue before the UNHRC begins meeting in Geneva for its 40th session later next month.

The United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany are expected to play the lead role on Sri Lanka in Geneva in the absence of the US which withdrew from the UNHRC last year.

Meanwhile, the Head of South Asia Department in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Fergus Auld, who was in Sri Lanka last week, had talks with the TNA and others, both in Colombo and outside Colombo, including Jaffna.

UK High Commission sources said that Auld visited Jaffna and met political and government officials including the Governor and former Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. He also visited resettlement projects funded by the United Kingdom.

While in Colombo, he met officials from the Government and the diplomatic corps.