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US wants LLRC report discussed at UN rights council next March

The United States has formally told Sri Lanka that it wants the final report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) discussed at the 19th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next March, the Sunday Times reported.

After repeated extensions, the final report of the governemnt's LLRC is to be released in November. (See here what international rights groups think of the LLRC.)

The demarche was delivered by the US Embassy in Colombo to the External Affairs Ministry last month but Sri Lanka has not yet responded officially, the paper said.

An External Affairs Ministry source who spoke on grounds of anonymity said the government was most likely to reject the US request.

“This is because we will be under the constant watch of the HRC if we agree to this move,” the source said, sounding a warning that a rejection may also force US to resort to other “measures against Sri Lanka”.

On July 21 a US congressional committee voted to ban aid to Sri Lanka pending accountability over mass killings in the final months of the island's war in 2009.

In April, a UN expert panel published its report on war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka

After Sri Lanka was not raised at the 17th sessions of the UN Human Rights Council in June, there was speculation that it would be taken up at the next one, in September.

Although it is not altogether ruled out, both Britain and the United States have said that they would give time for Sri Lanka till the end of this year for the LLRC to produce its report.

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