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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2527

US mum on whether Resolution on Sri Lanka revives Tamil Tigers globally

Daya Gamage - Asian Tribune News Analysis
Washington, D.C. 19 March (Asiantribune.com):

The US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland at Daily Media Briefing on Monday, 18 March diplomatically side tracked not to answer whether the U.S. Resolution on Sri Lanka at UNHRC in Geneva schedule for this Thursday was a catalyst for the revival of the Tamil Tigers globally and within the borders of Sri Lanka.

It was a very straightforward question to which she could have answered a clear 'NO' and give the reasons why.

Instead, the manner in which she framed the answer the subtle impression created is that the State Department itself was not sure whether its own 'Resolution' could become a political platform for the pro-separatist global Tamil Diaspora activists, who have congregated in Geneva these days with utmost influence surpassing the pro-Sri Lankan lobby, to bring this South Asian nation to international scrutiny and pave the way to bifurcate the nation as was done in Kosovo and Sudan.

The 'almost final' draft of the US Resolution tabled on Monday, 18 March has highlighted the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay's call in her report released last month about the vitality of having international investigation.

The Pillay report call was moved by the US-sponsors to a highlighting position in the 'almost final' draft which the Asian Tribune carries separately.

The question and answer segment to the LTTE 'revival' is as follows:

Question: But there are sections from the pro-LTT groups which are coming up very strongly in support of the resolutions in Geneva. Do you think that this – there are some critics who say the passing of this resolution will give boost to LTT activities not only in Sri Lanka but world over.

Ms.Nuland: Well, the best thing that the Government of Sri Lanka could do for its own people and to undercut the claims of these groups would be to fulfill the obligations that it made to the international community to take the process forward. So that hasn’t happened, and we are taking more measures in the Human Rights Council to make clear that progress has been insufficient.

In another answer Spokesperson Nuland does not name the countries that are sponsoring the Resolution instead saying "we're working with a lot of governments."

Question: If I can check with you on Sri Lanka. The U.S. delegation which is going to – in Geneva right now, the kind of talks you’re having with the Sri Lankan government and also the Indian government on this issue, do you have something to say on that?

Ms.Nuland: Well, you know when we’ve spoken about it here that we are sponsoring a new resolution in the Human Rights Council and we’re working with a lot of governments who share our concerns about the lack of progress in Sri Lanka. It is not a surprise to the Government of Sri Lanka that we are doing this. We made clear publicly and privately that this was a response to the fact that we just didn’t see the kind of movement that was necessary. We didn’t see promises fulfilled. So we’re being very transparent with the Government of Sri Lanka, and we’re expecting strong support for the resolution that we’ve put forward.

The Asian Tribune is able to give the full list of nations that are co-sponsoring with the United States. They are; Austria, Canada, Croatia, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, St Kitts and Nevis, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

To other questions Ms. Nuland gave the following answers.

Question: And then lastly, has the Indian government approached you for any change in the draft resolution?

Ms.Nuland: I don’t have any details about the discussions that are ongoing. I’ll send you to our mission out there.

Question: As far as the human rights in Sri Lanka are concerned, especially for the minorities and this new and old resolution at the United Nations, and Sri Lankan Ambassador also had been talking about this – these resolutions and progress in Sri Lanka. My question is that – have you been talking with the Sri Lankan government or their Ambassador here about these issues before the resolution or during this resolution? And what was their action or reaction?

Ms.Nuland: I think I said in response to Lalit’s question that this – the fact that we were going to move forward in Geneva again was no surprise to the Government of Sri Lanka. I remember when the Foreign Minister was here last year and met with Secretary Clinton, she made clear that if we didn’t have progress, we would go forward. And that’s what we’ve done.

- Asian Tribune –

US Spokesperson Victoria Nuland

US Spokesperson Victoria Nuland
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