Govt will answer UNHRC allegations - Minister | Daily News

Govt will answer UNHRC allegations - Minister

Lanka well poised to defend itself:
UNHRC sessions from Feb 22:

Co-Cabinet Spokesman, Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday stated that Sri Lanka has the capacity and capability to face allegations of Human Rights violations and will provide forthright answers at the UNHRC sessions. Responding to a query regarding allegations levelled against the Government by certain foreign forces, NGOs and media outlets, the Minister said the Government’s position was very clear on allegations of War Crimes against the Security Forces. “Unfortunately we are still are experiencing the results of the decision taken by the Foreign Affairs Minister of the then Yahapalana Government to co-sponsor the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 which called for addressing War Crimes and reconciliation efforts with the minorities,” the Minister said. Among other things, that Resolution called for measures to ensure truth telling, reparations, security sector reform, and justice through a hybrid mechanism including international investigators, prosecutors, and judges.

He said that Tilak Marapana, who succeeded that particular minister as Foreign Affairs Minister of the Yahapalana Government had stated that this Resolution was against the country’s Constitution and other legal provisions. Present External Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has also officially stated that the country will withdraw from it.

In February 2020 -The Government of Sri Lanka informed the UNHRC that it is withdrawing co-sponsorship of Resolutions 30/1, 34/1, and 40/1, expressing its intention to pursue instead an “inclusive, domestically designed and executed reconciliation and accountability process”.

Minister Rambukwella said that Minister Gunawardena will present Sri Lanka’s response to UNHRC allegations in detail at this year’s UNHRC sessions. “We are confident that we would definitely be able to present our stance at the First Session of the Human Rights Council and we would also be able to present the correct facts in a more scientific manner,” he added.

This will be a detailed response to the Sri Lanka Report of Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet that has already been published in various forums on January 27, which called for greater scrutiny of Sri Lanka’s post-war Human Rights record and implicated certain segments of HR violations. There are reports that the UK led Sri Lanka Core Group (including Canada, Germany, North Macedonia and Montenegro), is also working to negotiate a consensus resolution on Sri Lanka.

This year’s UNHRC sessions will be held mostly virtually (online) from February 22, 2021. This current HRC Presidency is held by Fiji.