Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva C.A. Chandraprema called the resolution “unwarranted and unjustified” and said it would polarise Sri Lankan society and adversely affect economic development. In his remarks shortly before the resolution was taken up for a vote, Ambassador Chandraprema said the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka violated the principles of sovereign equality of all states and non-interference in internal affairs. “I cannot emphasise enough the dangers posed to all nations, particularly those of the global south, by the trajectory taken in this resolution which is urging action on the basis of emerging trends and warning signs that is events that have not yet happened,” Ambassador Chandraprema noted during his intervention shortly before the vote. The resolution was based on the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, which was rejected by the Government of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Envoy said.
The list of co-sponsors of the resolution amply demonstrates the divisive nature of this resolution, he added. The Sri Lankan Envoy remarked that the OHCHR had earmarked $ 2.8 million for its evidence gathering mechanism. Over a dozen staff members are to be recruited, he noted.
Ambassador Chandraprema called upon all members of the UNHRC to “objectively assess” whether Sri Lanka represented a situation that warrants the financial and human resources and the urgent attention of the Council, at a time of severe financial constraints indicated by the UNHRC secretariat.