Sri Lanka is ready to face UNHRC resolution
As Sri Lanka braces itself to face a possible resolution at the 19th United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions starting tomorrow in Geneva, major powers have already assured their support to shoot it down in view of the country’s domestic reconciliation process.
Minister and President’s Special Envoy on Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe told the Sunday Observer from Geneva late Friday that the US delegation was circulating a draft resolution among other delegates but it is yet to be officially handed over to the Council.
The resolution calls for the implementation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations and also called upon Sri Lanka to seek the assistance of the UN Commissioner of Human Rights Navaneetham Pillai in the implementation process.
“Our position is that this resolution is both uncalled for and unwarranted. There is no necessity for such a resolution, since we have started implementing the recommendations.”
The Sri Lankan delegation led by Minister Samarasinghe is in Geneva from Wednesday, meeting other envoys and briefing them on the measures the Government has taken towards a ‘comprehensive reconciliation’ in the post-conflict era. “What we are now demonstrating by talking to various delegations is to show the concrete steps the country has been taking in implementing LLRC recommendations and our future efforts towards the goal of reconciliation.”
Asked about the consequences of the resolution being adopted the Minister said, “We will not allow it to succeed.
We have ample evidence to show our commitment. They (the international community) will realise then that there is no necessity. We are very confident that we will be able to defeat it.”
Already a number of countries including Sri Lanka’s biggest allies have confirmed their support if a resolution is brought against Sri Lanka, he said.
The Russian Ambassador in Colombo told a press conference last week that they believe Sri Lanka should be given time to sort out its own problems and external pressures should not block this domestic process.
Similar sentiments have been expressed by other allies too in the HRC.
Minister Samarasinghe in an interview with the Sunday Observer on Tuesday, prior to leaving for Geneva, outlined some of the measures the Government has taken in implementing the LLRC recommendations from January this year, soon after the LLRC’s final report was presented in Parliament.
The Sri Lankan delegation which includes Ministers Prof. G.L. Peiris, Nimal Siripala De Silva, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Attorney General Eva Wanasundera met the HR High Commissioner Navaneetham Pillai on Friday at 12 noon Geneva time. The Minister said they briefed her on the ‘ground developments’ and the Government’s efforts since the last HRC meeting in September 2011.
Sri Lanka defeated a resolution brought in by certain Western Bloc countries in May 2009 at the UNHRC, soon after LTTE terrorism was crushed.
By Manjula FERNANDO