Text: H.Res.442 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (06/13/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H. Res. 442 Introduced in House (IH)]

<DOC>






116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
H. RES. 442

 Observing 10 years since the war in Sri Lanka ended on May 18, 2009, 
 commemorating the lives lost, and expressing support for transitional 
justice, reconciliation, reconstruction, reparation, and reform in Sri 
 Lanka, which are necessary to ensure a lasting peace and a prosperous 
                      future for all Sri Lankans.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             June 13, 2019

 Mr. Johnson of Ohio (for himself, Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois, Mr. 
Balderson, Mr. Stivers, Mr. Chabot, and Mr. Rose of New York) submitted 
   the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on 
 Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, 
for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case 
for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of 
                        the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
 Observing 10 years since the war in Sri Lanka ended on May 18, 2009, 
 commemorating the lives lost, and expressing support for transitional 
justice, reconciliation, reconstruction, reparation, and reform in Sri 
 Lanka, which are necessary to ensure a lasting peace and a prosperous 
                      future for all Sri Lankans.

Whereas May 18, 2019, marks the 10-year anniversary of the end of the 26-year 
        armed conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation 
        Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE);
Whereas the people of Sri Lanka, including all religious and ethnic groups, 
        suffered greatly as a result of this conflict, the impact and aftermath 
        of which has been felt especially by women, children, and families;
Whereas violence and counterviolence during and after the civil war affected all 
        communities;
Whereas the Tamil community was subjected to tens of thousands of deaths, 
        disappearances, and other human rights abuses, and both Muslim and Tamil 
        communities were subjected to massive displacements;
Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka expressed its commitment to addressing the 
        needs of all ethnic groups and has recognized in the past the necessity 
        of a political settlement to build a peaceful, equitable, and democratic 
        society;
Whereas 256 people died in the terror attacks on Easter Sunday, 2019, including 
        5 Americans, and 70 percent of the victims are estimated to be Tamil 
        Christians, a community that suffered greatly during the war;
Whereas the Easter attacks demonstrate that postwar reconciliation between Sri 
        Lanka's diverse communities, particularly between the Sinhalese 
        Buddhists who dominate the government and security forces, and other 
        communities on this very diverse and cosmopolitan island is crucial to 
        building a new society, that violence and discrimination against 
        Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Tamils must end, while promised 
        political, legal, and security sector reforms must be undertaken, and 
        that a large military and antiterror laws alone do not assure security;
Whereas since the end of the war, the Government of Sri Lanka has resettled many 
        of the internally displaced persons (IDPs), returned some of the private 
        and state land held by the military, appointed civilian governors in the 
        North and East, rebuilt some of the infrastructure destroyed by the war, 
        and maintained the peace;
Whereas in the absence of Sri Lanka implementing the recommendations of its own 
        Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission or instituting a credible 
        justice mechanism to investigate serious crimes committed during and 
        after the war, the United States led resolutions in the United Nations 
        Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in 2012, 2013, and 2014 calling in ever 
        stronger terms for domestic action and reconciliation;
Whereas the United Nation's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights 
        issued a report in 2015 (the OISL Report) which outlined the occurrence 
        of war crimes and crimes against humanity and violations of 
        international humanitarian law during the war;
Whereas following a change in government in Sri Lanka, the release of the OISL 
        Report and the recommendations of the High Commissioner for Human 
        Rights, the United States cosponsored with Sri Lanka a UNHRC resolution 
        in 2015, HRC/30/1, which was reaffirmed in 2017;
Whereas in HRC 30/1 the Sri Lankan government made transitional justice 
        commitments for postwar reconciliation including an accountability 
        mechanism with a special court inclusive of Commonwealth and foreign 
        judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and investigators, a truth commission, an 
        office of missing persons, and an office of reparations and 
        institutional reforms aimed at nonrecurrence, along with a number of 
        confidence-building measures;
Whereas Sri Lanka has held consultations with victims concerning their 
        transitional justice needs, acceded to the International Convention for 
        the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and 
        incorporated that treaty into domestic law as of 2018, established an 
        Office of National Unity and Reconciliation, operationalized the Office 
        of Missing Persons, legislated an Office of Reparations, discussed a 
        Truth Commission, debated replacement of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 
        to comply with international standards for arrest and detention by 
        security forces and attempted to legislate a new constitution to provide 
        the needed federalism to the North and East that was a root cause of the 
        war;
Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka must meet its commitments to political, 
        legal, and security sector reforms in order to assure nonrecurrence of 
        conflict;
Whereas the Government of Sri Lanka has not taken tangible steps toward security 
        sector reform, including demilitarization of civilian functions, 
        particularly in the North and East, or followed through on commitments 
        to fully return or provide full restitution for the continued military 
        presence on private and leased state lands in the North and East, which 
        continues to prevent the resettlement of internally displaced persons 
        who desire a return to peaceful life;
Whereas the Sri Lankan government security forces are reported to continue to 
        act with impunity against ethnic and religious communities, using 
        methods of abduction, torture, sexual violence, and detention without 
        trial;
Whereas no effort has been made to bring to justice those who have been alleged 
        to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, no 
        investigations have begun even on emblematic cases, and impunity 
        prevails in the country with the outdated and the excessively harsh 
        Prevention of Terrorism Act which does not comply with international 
        standards still not repealed despite repeated promises by the 
        government;
Whereas families of individuals who disappeared during and immediately following 
        the civil war still have no information regarding the whereabouts of 
        their loved ones and no lists of those persons who surrendered to the 
        government after the end of the civil war in May 2009 have been 
        published;
Whereas the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Bachelet, in her address 
        to the Human Rights Council on March 20, 2019, noted, ``There has been 
        minimal progress on accountability'', and insisted that Sri Lanka's 
        efforts in fulfilling all commitments made in Resolution 30/1 must be 
        accelerated and implemented in a consistent and comprehensive manner;
Whereas democratic institutions played a strong role in allowing for the 
        peaceful resolution of the political situation that arose in Sri Lanka 
        from October to December 2018;
Whereas the constitutional crisis in October 2018, the terror attacks of April 
        21, 2019, the upcoming elections, and ongoing ethnic tension should not 
        be allowed to prevent the implementation of reform measures; and
Whereas progress on domestic and international investigations into reports of 
        war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other human rights violations 
        during the conflict and promoting reconciliation would facilitate United 
        States engagement and investment in Sri Lanka: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) acknowledges the 10th anniversary of the end of the war 
        in Sri Lanka and offers its deepest condolences to all those 
        affected by the war in Sri Lanka;
            (2) honors the memory of those who died and reaffirms its 
        solidarity with the Sri Lankan people of all communities in 
        their search for reconciliation, reconstruction, reparation, 
        and reform;
            (3) commends the Government of Sri Lanka for its 
        commitments made to reconciliation and nonrecurrence of 
        conflict between its diverse ethnic and religious communities 
        through its reaffirmation by cosponsoring UN Human Rights 
        Council Resolution HRC/40/1 in March 2019;
            (4) urges the Government of Sri Lanka to follow through on 
        its commitments regarding transitional justice, accountability, 
        and reconciliation without delay and in an integrated manner by 
        creating a time-bound action plan in close consultation with 
        the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights;
            (5) calls on the United States to work with the Government 
        of Sri Lanka to prioritize a process of security sector reform 
        throughout the country;
            (6) acknowledges the importance for parties to reach a 
        political settlement on the meaningful decentralization of 
        power and power sharing;
            (7) recommends the use of the Magnitsky Act to prevent 
        individuals credibly accused of war crimes and crimes against 
        humanity from entering the United States or holding property in 
        the United States, and the use of the Alien Tort Claims Act to 
        prosecute individuals credibly accused of war crimes and crimes 
        against humanity;
            (8) recommends the thorough vetting of individuals and 
        units of the Sri Lankan security forces before engagement with 
        the United States military and encourages the Department of 
        Defense to remain sensitive to the complicated ethnic and 
        religious tensions that continue to exist in postwar Sri Lanka; 
        and
            (9) urges the United States to work with the United Nations 
        General Assembly and the United Nations Human Rights Council to 
        establish a credible and effective mechanism for accountability 
        for the grave crimes committed during the war in Sri Lanka.
                                 <all>

Share This