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Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 5.51 GMT
Sri Lanka in principled, persuasive stand at UNHRC – Minister Samarasinghe


“Channel 4 rehash will be countered with incontrovertible facts”

 

Sri Lanka is taking a principled stand in the UNHRC that the Draft Resolution by the US on Sri Lanka is misplaced, unwarranted and unnecessary given what we have already done to implement the recommendations of the LLRC.

Ours is a persuasive argument based on a principled position; the Channel 4 documentary and other related moves will only help those who despise seeing stability, peace and harmony returning to Sri Lanka.

So that Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, the President’s Special Envoy on Human Rights who heads the Sri Lankan delegation to the 19th sessions of the UNRC currently on in Geneva.

In an wide ranging interview with the Sunday Observer today (March 18) Minister Samarasinghe said the presence in Geneva and his support to the US led resolution, “just shows that these persons were predisposed towards taking anti-Sri Lanka positions and their current conduct shows that they are players contributing to a larger agenda.”

On the new release of a Channel 4 video which is being currently flaunted by governments, NGOs and anti-Sri Lanka Human Rights groups, he said: “We feel there is nothing very different in the content of the video from the anti-Sri Lanka propaganda and sentiments that have been continuously emanating from quarters who do not have Sri Lanka’s best interests at heart. Channel 4 is just one outlet that has been used by these elements to spread misinformation. What is important is the timing of the release of the video.”

The fact that it has been released to coincide with the current Sessions of the UNHRC demonstrates it is part of a larger, orchestrated effort to garner support for a resolution on Sri Lanka at present before the Council We will respond to it in the very near future in a clear and comprehensive manner. We are confident this will offset any impact that the promoters of this video hoped that it would have. Don’t forget that most of the speculations in the video are mere repeats of allegations made in previous Channel 4 videos and these allegations are being gone into by military Courts of Inquiry. We believe that the truth will eventually be established once those investigations and inquiries are concluded, the Minister added.

Here are excerpts from the interview:

Q: We heard Mr. Darusman is in Geneva canvassing support for US backed resolution, how ethical is this? And isn’t it against UN norms? (Note- the three members of the panel issued an op-ed article criticizing SL’s record recently to Western media while the sessions were on).

A: It just shows that these persons were predisposed towards taking anti-Sri Lanka positions and their current conduct shows that they are players contributing to a larger agenda. There is nothing surprising about this.

The Secretary-General is able to advise himself on any issue that is within his purview. The conduct of these Advisory Panelists indicates that they were not and are not objective, independent nor are they impartial.
This buttresses Sri Lanka’s position and conclusions about their Report. This is why it is important to place reliance on a credible, transparent and objective assessment carried out by a domestic process. We Sri Lankans – more than anyone else - have a greater interest in achieving genuine reconciliation and this is why we need time and space to realize our goals.

Q: What sort of support do you anticipate if the vote is taken and how do you think the member states will react?
We have outlined the astounding progress we have made in consolidating peace, renewing lives and livelihoods, restoring social and physical infrastructure, restoring institutions and administrative agencies, improving service provision and delivery – just about everything that we could do to restore normality to conflict affected areas. Misdirected initiatives such as this resolution could only impede the rapidity of this process.

We are doing our best – in fact, better than our best – for all the people of Sri Lanka and we expect that all right thinking people will acknowledge this.


For full the interview go to: http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2012/03/18/pol03.asp


 

 
 
   
   
     
   
   

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Last modified: March 18, 2012.

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