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Sri Lankan foreign minister appeals for rejection of UN rights body resolution


Minister called looming resolution unsubstantiated and “pure political initiative” against Sri Lanka

A senior Sri Lankan minister made a fervent appeal to UNHRC member states to reject the impending resolution on the island nation’s human rights accountability and reconciliation, calling it “pure political movement “against the country.

Speaking practically Tuesday at a session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena called for the resolution to be rejected by the council and closed.

The minister called the looming resolution unfounded and “pure political initiative” against Sri Lanka.

Gunawardena’s remarks followed the country’s rejection of the report by UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, which called for drastic measures such as targeted sanctions and international criminal proceedings against those alleged to be responsible for human rights violations. during the last phase of the armed conflict with the LTTE in 2009.

Read also | ‘China played no role in Sri Lanka’s decision on TCE’

A draft resolution is expected to be presented to HRC sessions on Wednesday, officials here said.

Officials said they believed the nature of the resolution would be identical to resolution 30/1 adopted in 2015 that the then Sri Lankan government co-sponsored. The current government elected in November 2019 withdrew from the resolution’s co-sponsorship last year.

The draft resolution is expected to include steps taken by the Office to strengthen its monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, including progress on reconciliation and accountability.

It is also expected to present a written update to the Human Rights Council at its 49th session, and a comprehensive report including other options to advance accountability at its 51st session, both to be discussed in interactive dialogues. .

The electoral mandate of the current government given by the Sri Lankan people aimed to withdraw from the previous resolution while remaining engaged with the mechanisms of the UN.

Sri Lanka has reportedly pressured some 18 member states to request the rejection.

Earlier this week, Foreign Ministry Secretary Jayanath Colombage said a special written request had been forwarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking for India’s support on behalf of Sri Lanka to defeat the resolution.

His comments came after the HRC’s central group on Sri Lanka, in a joint statement, said that a resolution would be proposed next week to focus on Sri Lanka’s rights responsibility.

The central group of Sri Lanka includes the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Malawi, North Macedonia and Montenegro.

The previous Sri Lankan government, led by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, co-sponsored the resolution in 2013, calling for accountability for alleged war crimes committed by government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the final phase of the three-decade civil war in May 2009.

The current government, led by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, formally withdrew from the resolution.

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Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from www.thehindu.com

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