UNHRC resolution: GL says countries can’t say no to US

Wednesday, 26 June 2013 00:26 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • External Affairs Minister tells Aussie television that Lanka is happy to conduct independent investigation into war time abuses
  • Says HR is being used selectively as a political tool
  • Warns that LTTE employs Goebbelsian methods to
  • Says Govt. hopes to showcase post-war development, attract investment during CHOGM discredit Sri Lanka
The success of the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in March depends largely on the mover of the resolution with UN member states finding it difficult to say no to powerful countries such as the US, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said yesterday. In an interview with Australia’s Newsline during his official visit to the country this week, Minister Peiris said the first resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC was moved by Canada and abandoned by that country because of a lack of support among member states. “The situation changed dramatically when the US decided to bring this resolution. Countries find it very difficult to say no to the mover of the resolution – especially a country as powerful as the US. We know that and several countries have told us that – how can we say no to the US?” Perisi said in response to a question by the anchor regarding the investigation called for by the UNHRC into Sri Lanka’s war time abuses. Minister Peiris said that human rights was being used increasingly as a political tool. He said the Government was happy to conduct an independent, credible inquiry into allegations as called for by the UNHRC. “Already there are several cases being investigated where evidence is available. It cannot be done on the basis of hearsay or wild reckless allegations. But where there is evidence that will stand up to scrutiny in a court of law we are certainly prepared to investigate,” he said in the interview. The Minister also told Newsline that Lankan illegal immigrants had nothing to run away from in Sri Lanka. “It is a country entirely at peace,” he said adding that these illegal immigrants were merely those in search of greener pastures. Minister Peiris said that no part of the country is developing as fast as the Northern Province where 97% of the population is Tamil. “There is no credibility to claims of persecution. You need to understand that the LTTE accumulated vast wealth over the last 25 years. Although militarily defeated they continue to have assets. Skilfully orchestrated media campaign against Sri Lanka. A figure is put forward say 40,000 people who are said to have been killed. There is no evidence and the figure is purely speculative. But when it is repeated, like the Goebbelsian technique, that is taken as an authoritative figure,” he said. The Minister said that one of the chief advantages of the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka was the opportunity to showcase the Government’s significant achievements over the last three years. “Six months ago we had a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting in Colombo and many of the delegates who came to Sri Lanka went to the Northern Province and saw for themselves what had been accomplished. There is no substitute for the evidence of their own eyes – personal experience is the best thing not propaganda,” he said. Minister Peiris said that Canada was increasingly isolated in its boycott of CHOGM in Colombo with no other Commonwealth Member state reflecting or endorsing the Canadian position. (DB)