CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.Res. 177, a bill expressing support for internal rebuilding, resettlement, and reconciliation within Sri Lanka that are necessary to ensure a lasting peace, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority for approval. The bill was introduced on March 17, 2011, by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs.
H.Res. 177 would call on the Government of Sri Lanka to build on the constructive recommendations of the country’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and would urge the establishment of an independent international accountability mechanism to assess human rights violations during the conflict in Sri Lanka. The bill would also urge full access by humanitarian aid agencies and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Sri Lanka and would urge the development of a comprehensive U.S. policy toward Sri Lanka. Lastly, the bill would acknowledge the end of the war and would call on the Government of Sri Lanka to go through a process of demilitarization throughout the country.
According to findings of the bill, “May 19, 2010, marked the one-year anniversary of the end of the 26-year conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government of Sri Lanka.” Further, “the Government of Sri Lanka established a Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to report whether any person, group, or institution directly or indirectly bears responsibility for incidents that occurred between February 2002 and May 2009 and to recommend measures to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future and promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities.” Further, “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 enhanced United States engagement and investment in Sri Lanka.”
There is no Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate for this legislation.