Lord Naseby PC, President of the All Party British Sri Lanka Parliamentary Group in the UK Parliament, has issued a statement on Sri Lanka with reference to the recently concluded 40th Sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Following is the full text:
‘I have carefully observed every stage of this year’s meeting of the UNHCR. Before I make any other comment, I wish to congratulate Mr Tilak Marapana MP, The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and Leader of the delegation on Sri Lanka’s statement. I have read meticulously all pages of the full statement. It is balanced, authoritative, measured, challenging and utterly professional - backed up by irrefutable facts and figures.
I was particularly proud that the Foreign Minister decided to include as one of three important annexes the ‘House of Lords debate’ I initiated and led in The House of Lords on 12 October 2017. I now feel totally vindicated about persevering for over 2 years to extract under a ‘Freedom of Information’ Inquiry the despatches of Lt Colonel Gash, the UK’s Military attaché in Colombo who saw the war at first hand. It is these despatches that prove beyond any doubt that there never was a policy to kill Tamil civilians and that the Civilian Casualties were only around 5,500 at most.
I just highlight 3 important issues:
From the UN the Report 40/L.1, the consensus Resolution on Sri Lanka that was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council without a vote:
1. On page 2, I quote, ‘Noting with appreciation the return of some private land’. The Foreign Minister stated in his report that it was 92.16% - hardly ‘some’ - realistically ‘most’.
2. From the same Resolution document on page 3 reference is made to a Truth & Reconciliation Commission: surely The UN for its part will have to put forward proposals of how to get persons like Mrs Adele Balasingham and other senior LTTE officers settled in UK, Canada, USA or elsewhere to fully co-operate if a Truth & Reconciliation mechanism is to happen.
3. Finally, from the Sri Lanka Foreign Minister’s statement reference is made to ‘the considerable unevenness in the standards of proof applied to the Government of Sri Lanka, compared to those applied to the unsubstantiated allegations made by Sri Lanka’s detractors’. How right he was to raise this issue. It really is high time that the claim of 40,000 civilians killed was expunged from the records.”