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UNHRC resolution a plus for SL: Marapana

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  • Says latest resolution to be presented in Geneva will improve country reputation


By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Lobby Correspondent

The Government yesterday reassured Parliament that the resolution to be presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions would promote Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts and bring recognition to the country.

Foreign Affairs Minister 

Tilak Marapana

Head of the Government delegation to attend the UNHRC session, Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana told Parliament yesterday that the current Government will not let the country get back to the dark ages it has passed with human rights violations, when the rule of law was not existent.

“The new Government pledged to re-establish human rights within the 100-day program, the UNHRC held back plans to do an international investigation over human rights violations. So, we were given the opportunity to resolve our problems at home. We have appeared for our own people and have established local mechanisms. With these programs, we have not done any damage to any Sri Lankan including the military. We have only reconfirmed the sovereignty of our country. No laws were passed to violate the basic right of our people,” said the Minister.

According to Marapana, the Government won back the GSP plus while joining hand with the Millennium Challenge Corporation to place foundations for long-term development. In addition, the Sri Lankan military forces are allowed to serve in United Nations peacekeeping missions, and also have the opportunities to get trained by foreign forces with superior technology and strategies. During the last three years, several naval craft were also donated to Sri Lanka by foreign navies as a result of this trust developed.

“The steps taken since 2015 has strengthened the rule of law and have established human rights. The development and reconciliation are now underway. We are committed to this and will never let the country go backwards,” assured the Minister.

Marapana, reminding the former Government now seated in the Opposition of the former poor human rights status of the country said: “The Opposition leader knows that then-UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was here for a visit in May 2009. After this visit, a joint statement was issued on protecting human rights during the post-war period, describing some steps to establish with reconciliation and accountability. The then-Government on 27 May 2009 presented a resolution to the UNHRC. The resolution created a division, but was passed in the Council.”

“Providing a political solution executing the 13th Amendment was also mentioned in this resolution. Establishing long-lasting peace among all and protecting human rights of all was also mentioned in this resolution. However, by that time, the Government has failed to execute the recommendations of the LLRC. So, despite the objections of the Sri Lanka Government, three resolutions were passed at UNHRC in 2012, 2013, and 2014. With the final resolution against Sri Lanka coming out in 2014, an international investigation against Sri Lanka was also passed at the UNHRC. Without the change in Presidency in January 2015, if we allowed this resolution to go forward, Sri Lanka may have been enforced with sanctions of various types,” he added.

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