SL will stand it’s ground at UNHRC- Minister Sabry | Daily News
Despite a resolution against SL receiving votes in favour or not

SL will stand it’s ground at UNHRC- Minister Sabry

Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC and Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane at yesterday’s press briefing. Picture by Kelum Liyanage
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, PC and Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane at yesterday’s press briefing. Picture by Kelum Liyanage

The Government yesterday (05) emphasized that Sri Lanka will stand its ground despite a resolution against the country receiving votes in favour or not at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

If such a resolution is presented regarding Sri Lanka, the Government will consider its content and express disagreement if there is anything damaging.

As a sovereign state, Sri Lanka is not in a position to agree to any such resolution that would jeopardize the country, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry PC observed.

The Minister made these observations at a media briefing held at the ministry premises yesterday morning (05). Minister Sabry pointed out that there are disagreements between powerful nations however, surviving everyone without anyone’s interference is a challenge before the country.

Minister Sabry noted that even if the Government needs to take certain decisions, it will be done in a way that does not cause any harm to the sovereignty and independence of the country. Minister Sabry pointed out that he and a delegation led by the Minister of Justice will participate in the next session of the International Human Rights Council and noted that Sri Lanka is a distinguished member of the IHRC.

The Minister expressed his hopes to work with the United Nations and other institutions to avoid conflicts in the future.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that he hopes to negotiate and reach a consensus, adding that all these things should happen according to the Constitution of Sri Lanka and that he does not expect any solution outside of the country’s constitution.

In the meantime, Minister Sabry pointed out that whatever mechanism should be implemented in accordance with the constitution of this country. Minister Sabry also said that no authority has been given to act beyond the country’s constitution and law. He pointed out that space is made for amending the Prevention of Terrorism Act and relaxing laws on detainees.

Minister Sabry stated that the government is ready to implement a mechanism to seek truth regarding the violations of human rights in Sri Lanka without damaging the Constitution and the criminal law.

Minister Sabry said the Government is expecting to thoroughly examine the allegations on human rights violations completely. He noted that even military officials who are wrongfully accused of human rights violations would be able to clear themselves through a process such as this.

Minister Sabry pointed out that Sri Lanka is currently looking for long-term solutions for national reconciliation and that according to the country’s constitution, a truth-seeking mechanism should be used to look into the said violations. “This mechanism will solace the people who have suffered due to these violations,” the Minister also said. He also noted that the said mechanism will not however superceed country’s laws. Sabry pointed out that some members in the 58 Division that immensely contributed to end the war, have been black listed by several UN establishments.

“With this mechanism, such unfairness would end,” he noted.

Sabry said that the said mechanism is at the preliminary stage. He pointed out that there are many projects done at the international level, which slander the military forces. He emphasized the importance of such a mechanism that will treat people and military officials equally.

Accordingly, a transparent mechanism should be prepared in par with the Constitution of the country that is acceptable to all.

“Considering the economic situation that prevailed in the country a few months back, the situation has gradually turned for the better,” Minister Sabry said.

Sabry noted that the country’s democracy has been strengthened following the change of government and appointment of a new President and a Prime Minister in a peaceful background.

“First of all, the main objective at this time is to carry out the necessary reforms to rebuild the economy and prepare a safe and sustainable economic system in the future. There are many challenges that we need to face. There is a shortage in tax revenue. Compared to that, there is an increase in the cost. A great need has arisen to balance these two. In order to do that, loss-making institutions must be restructured. A new tax collection system should be developed aiming at the people who can pay taxes.

The Government has used several methods to solve this issue, however, finally we have to go before the International Monetary Fund to find solutions to it. We started discussions with them in April. Now, after four months, we have successfully taken the first step towards an agreement. We agree with many of the reforms and we believe that these reforms should be agreed upon with or without the IMF.

Some of these reforms include, tax reforms, a social security mechanism, people suffering from poverty, financial policies based on data, removing political influence on the Central Bank, establishing a sustainable banking system to ensure the safety of the banking system, establishing a legal framework to prevent scam, fraud and corruption. These are positive reforms and we need to consider them as victories,” Minister Sabry said.

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