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Wednesday, February 09, 2011 - 5.25 GMT

Unseen forces trying to destabilize the country - Minister Samarasinghe


There are unseen forces trying to disrupt the social and political stability the country and the people enjoy after 30 years and the Government is watchful over their dealings, Plantation Industries Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

Minister Samarasinghe who will head the delegation to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) sessions scheduled from February 28 to March 25 in Geneva in an interview with the Sunday Observer said his effort is to win over the West which is currently under the propaganda grip of pro-LTTE elements.

The UN Human Rights Council sessions will be held later this month. Despite new hope in Sri Lanka, a country trying to rise from a long drawn bitter conflict, the campaign fuelled by LTTE remnants to tarnish its image is very much active. In this light are we expecting serious challenges at the forthcoming HRC sessions?

Our record speaks for itself. At the height of the war there was an organised campaign backed by powerful elements which tried to create problems. Everyone knows that they were not successful.

I have been asked to lead the Sri Lankan delegation to the Human Rights sessions in Geneva. During the course of my statement I will apprise the council of the positive developments taken place and show that we are addressing all of the issues that we were confronted in the aftermath of the conflict.

We have not only eliminated terrorism but we are also uniting our people and ensuring that peace is also won. Frankly I donít see any major hurdles although I would expect the pro LTTE groups to continue to spread falsehood. I will adopt the same strategy that we adopted during the conflict. We will be proactive and brief all those in the council about what has taken place in the country.

One of the main things that I will be talking about is the national action plan on the promotion and protection of the Human Rights which I started as the Human Rights Minister. We are right now on the verge of finalising the document which will be placed before the Cabinet soon, the Minister said.

We have been working on this for the Past two and half years. We did not take any short cuts. I wanted to ensure that the document itself would be a representative document. Bearing this in mind we included civil society leaders, circulated it as a draft widely, within the country as well as overseas for inputs. We looked at best practices internationally. All that was put on the table and wide consultation took place. Now we are in the process of identifying areas that we can quickly start implementing. It will ensure the promotion and protection of Human Rights of all the citizens of the country.

Once the Cabinet approves, it will become a national action plan. We will coordinate with other ministries to ensure that there is an inter ministerial effort, Minister added.






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Last modified: February 09, 2011.

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