President Mahinda Rajapaksa rejected Thursday’s UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for a probe into alleged human rights violations, telling AFP that he would instead press ahead with Sri Lanka’s own reconciliation plan.
“We reject this,” President Rajapaksa said. “This resolution only hurts our reconciliation efforts. It does not help.
“But I am not discouraged. We will continue with the reconciliation process I have started,” he added in a phone call.
The President said he had drawn comfort from India’s abstention in Geneva. “I think it is encouraging that India did not vote against us,” he said.
President Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka’s home-grown process had made sweeping recommendations to ensure ethnic unity and the government was implementing them.
“We need time to implement the recommendations of the LLRC,” President said. “I want to repeat again that we are going ahead with this process.”
He said the US had mounted a major campaign to drum up support for the censure motion and he was at a disadvantage from the start.
“The EU votes as a block and the US had more than a dozen votes already in the bag while we started with none,” he said.
The resolution was passed with 23 voting in favour. The majority of the UNHRC members either voted against or abstained. Of the 47 member states, 12 voted against the resolution and another 12 countries abstained.
Commenting on the voting pattern, Minister of External Affairs Prof G L Peiris said the outcome of the on the US sponsored resolution reflects that more countries are against the U S at the UNHRC.
In 2013, as many as 25 member states voted in favour of the resolution, thus obtaining an absolute majority. However, this time the US and other sponsors could not muster 50 % support.