No support for Geneva proposals with political objectives; Sri lanka asserts again


Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha addressed the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday.


Welcoming the new High Commissioner Zeid Bin Ra'ad Al-Hussein on his appointment, said, "his wide experience in diplomacy, in-depth knowledge of the UN system and understanding and respect for social and cultural characteristics are useful assets that will guide the work of the OHCHR, consistent with the IB package and based on the fundamental principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity, non‑selectivity, constructive international dialogue and cooperation".


He observed that "despite Sri Lanka's non-recognition of the politically motivated resolution on Sri Lanka during 25th session of the HRC, Sri Lanka would continue to engage with the regular mechanisms of the Council, and looked forward to the opportunity to engage during Sri Lanka's fifth periodic report under the ICCPR next month.


Ambassador Aryasinha also reiterated "Sri Lanka's categorical rejection of the resolution and its call for a 'comprehensive investigation' by the OHCHR", and said "Sri Lanka will be addressing this issue comprehensively when the High Commissioner’s 'oral update' is taken up for discussion later in this Session".


The statement noted that "the Resolution and its mandate for a 'comprehensive investigation' challenge the sovereignty and independence of a member state of the United Nations, are based on profoundly flawed premises inimical to the interests of the people of Sri Lanka and violate a fundamental principle of international law which requires that national remedies have to be exhausted before resorting to international mechanisms.


As Sri Lanka and other countries have pointed out in the Council on several previous occasions, operative paragraphs 2 and 10 of the Resolution are mutually contradictory, in calling on both the Government and the OHCHR to conduct parallel investigations.


What is most regrettable is that the intrusive external investigative authority vested on the OHCHR not only exceeds its mandate, but disregards completely the domestic processes in place in the country.


It disrespects the inherent social, cultural and ethnic susceptibilities of the people of the country, jeopardizes the delicate process of reconciliation that is already underway, and militates against stability and peace in the country".


Notwithstanding the rejection of the Resolution, Sri Lanka's comprehensive statement to the HRC detailed the manner in which Sri Lanka continues its own domestic process of reconciliation, using as a basis, the National Plan of Action to implement the recommendations of the LLRC.


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