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Friday, September 26, 2014 - 5.07 GMT

Sri Lanka is not a situation that requires immediate attention of UNHRC - Ambassador Ariyasinha


With all the calamities and afflictions around the world today, Sri Lanka is clearly not a situation that requires the urgent and immediate attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha told the Council yesterday.

The Ambassador was responding to the Oral Update of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka, presented to the 27th session of the UNHRC by the Deputy High Commissioner MS. Flavia Pansieri Thursday.

The Sri Lankan envoy reminded the Council that during HRC 25 in March 2014, the Sri Lankan government categorically rejected the resolution 25/1 and its call for "OHCHR Investigation" and during HRC 26 in June 2014 the government made clear its position of non-cooperation with the investigation.

Ambassador Aryasinha stressed to the "handful, who so far during this session have urged Sri Lanka to revisit its position and cooperate with the OHCHR investigation" that the Government of Sri Lanka does not wish to "help legitimize a flawed process and have a detrimental precedent established."

He reminded the Council that the Sri Lankan parliament with a more than two-third majority rejected the OHCHR investigation and internationally even a majority of the UNHRC did not support the resolution that mandated the investigation.

The Ambassador emphasized that Sri Lanka continues to engage with the regular mechanisms of the Council, with the OHCHR and the High Commissioner.

He said the Government of Sri Lanka is continuing its own domestic process of accountability, justice, reconciliation and nation building with utmost dedication, guided by the LLRC report and recognized by the international community.

Listing reasons for opposition in principle to OHCHR investigation, the Permanent representative said the "emphasis chosen to be made on Sri Lanka is misplaced, and contrived by a few countries, with politically motivated agenda emanating inter alia from their domestic compulsions."

He emphasized that the OHCHR investigation challenged the sovereignty and independence of a member state of the United Nations and also violated a fundamental principle of international law, which requires that national remedies have to be exhausted before resorting to international mechanisms.

Comparing Sri Lanka's vanquished terrorist group LTTE to the present Islamic militant group ISIL, the envoy said it is regrettable that no resolutions were passed in this or the preceding commission calling for collective action against LTTE which held 300,000 people as human shields a little over 5 years ago.

The politicization of issues and mandates at hand, selectivity and unequal treatment of UN member states experienced by Sri Lanka will continue to erode the Council's credibility, the Sri Lankan representative said.

"Sri Lanka is continuing on a transformative journey in the interest of all the people of Sri Lanka. What Sri Lanka needs at this juncture is to be encouraged not impeded," Ambassador Aryasinha said.






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Last modified: September 26, 2014.

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