The 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) began over a week ago, yet much about the U.S.-led resolution on Sri Lanka remains undecided. The U.S. hopes to pass a consensus resolution that has Colombo’s clear endorsement.
Is that how things will play out?
When it comes to Sri Lanka’s fate at the Geneva-based HRC, this time was supposed to be different. Since 2012, three U.S.-led resolutions on Sri Lanka have been passed at the HRC. Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who ruled from November 2005 until January of this year, rejected those resolutions.
Still, since Rajapaksa’s ouster in January, Colombo’s foreign policy has been shifting. During this session of the HRC, the island nation is not coming under the same type of pressure that it had over the past several years. However, that doesn’t mean that events have become a foregone conclusion. Indeed, negotiations over the content of the imminent resolution on Sri Lanka are far from over.
During an informal meeting on September 21, Colombo made it clear that they do not approve of the draft resolution in its current form. This is not shocking news, especially since Sri Lanka’s new administration has to consider the domestic ramifications of what happens in Geneva.