Ambassador Aryasinha says draft resolution of core group violates the constitutional provisions of Sri Lanka

informalp1 7mar2014

Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, has said "the draft resolution on Sri Lanka deposited with the Human Rights Council by a core group comprising - the USA, UK, Mauritius, Montenegro and Macedonia, violates the constitutional provisions of Sri Lanka, is highly intrusive in nature and is in breach of the sovereignty of the Sri Lankan people and the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka". "In being politicised and in clear contravention of accepted principles of conduct in the Council", he said, "the resolution sets a bad precedent, and can in the medium-to-long term have an adverse impact on all developing countries in the Council".


Sri Lanka expresses reservations on attempts to politicise the situation of Sri Lanka in the Council

25hrc slstatement 7mar2014
Sri Lanka has expresses its strong reservations on the misplaced reference in the Annual Report to the Secretary General’s Internal Review Panel (IRP) report on Sri Lanka including provision of link to the report in a footnote, in the context of prevention. We note however that the report relevant to the subject at hand is ‘the Rights Up Front’ plan of action, to which report, surprisingly, no such link is provided. The ‘Rights Up Front’ plan of action is not meant to be retroactive but forward looking. Regrettably, the misplaced attention paid to the IRP report, which is neither endorsed by the intergovernmental process nor based on credible sources and information, can only be construed as yet another attempt to politicise the situation of Sri Lanka in the Council.

Read the full statement

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka



Minister Peiris tells HC Pillay that the disproportionate negative attention is making the difficult task of reconciliation in Sri Lanka even harder

honmea unhc 6mar14

External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris has said, the highly prejudiced actions taken by a few countries and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to give disproportionate negative attention to Sri Lanka, has made the separatist Tamil elements in Sri Lanka and abroad more intransigent, making the intensely difficult task of reconciliation in Sri Lanka, even harder. He said it was unfortunate that Sri Lanka has become a “political football” in the electoral fortunes in some countries.


Minister Peiris rejects High Commissioner’s Report says those “those who exalt its virtues only seek to inflict harm on the reconciliation process”

hon mea 25hrc
Minister of External Affairs and Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation Prof. G.L. Peiris, delivering the National Statement at the High Level Segment of the 25th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today (5 March 2014), rejected the Report of the High Commissioner in its entirety, saying it was fundamentally flawed and disregarded the substantial progress made by the Government during the five years which have elapsed since the end of the thirty year conflict against terrorism. He said it also pays scant regard to the complexities and local nuances of a sensitive reconciliation process, while eroding confidence of the people of Sri Lanka by the constant changing of unjustifiable demands. Moreover, they persist in an attitude which is clearly disproportionate to the circumstances and inconsistent with the treatment of comparable situations. It is much to be regretted that the High Commissioner’s Report and those who exalt its virtues only seek to inflict harm on the reconciliation process by bringing about a polarisation of the Sri Lankan society.


External Affairs Minister Peiris to address HRC High Level Segment on Wednesday

palais des nation

Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris who leads the Sri Lanka delegation to the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) arrives in Geneva on Tuesday (4 Match 2014), and is  scheduled to deliver the Sri Lanka National Statement at  the High Level Segment of the HRC on the morning of Wednesday.

The 3 day High Level Segment began today with statements by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, President of UN General Assembly John W. Ashe, President of Human Rights Council Baudelaire Ndong Ella, High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navi Pillay, and the President of the Swiss Federation Didier Burkhalter. Foreign Ministers/Ministerial level heads of delegations participating in the Session will continue to address the meeting over the next 2 days.


Sri Lanka rejects High Commissioner Pillay's call "to establish an international inquiry mechanism"

HRC floor

The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) has rejected the call by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navnanethem Pillay's "to establish an international inquiry mechanism to further investigate the alleged violations of IHRL and IHL and monitor any domestic accountability process in Sri Lanka", saying "it gives scant or no regard to the domestic processes ongoing in Sri Lanka within the framework of the LLRC NPOA, and is politicized in premise". The government said, the trajectory that has emerged with regard to the recommendation of the High Commissioner "reflects the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which she has relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka", since just a week following the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka, on 26th May 2009 at the 11th Special Session of the UNHRC on Sri Lanka, and at subsequent sessions and reports. It is noted that the reference in the current report that “the High Commissioner remains convinced” for an “independent, international inquiry” demonstrates her persistent efforts against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka said, "it is pertinent to question the factual basis for the High Commissioner’s initial formal call to the HRC for an independent, international investigation in May 2009 and its continuation, in order that the international community not be misled".


Pope Francis accepts invitation to visit Sri Lanka

His Holiness Pope Francis & His Eminence Malcom Cardinal Ranjith
His Holiness Pope Francis met Sri Lankans at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in a special audience he offered to the migrant Sri Lankans living in Italy on 8 February 2014. Addressing the congregation of some 15,000 Sri Lankans at the invitation of His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, and referring to the invitation to visit Sri Lanka, Pope Francis said "I accept it and believe the Lord will give us this grace".


Sri Lankans in Geneva celebrate Independence Day

Statement made by Ambassador Aryasinha at Independence Day Celebrations 2014Religious Observance at Independence Day Celebrations 2014

The Sri Lankan community resident in Geneva and the environs came together on Saturday (1 February 2014) to celebrate Sri Lanka's 66th anniversary of independence at an event organised by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva at the ILO premises. With over 250 Sri Lankans under one roof, the event was testimony to the country's rich and multi-faceted heritage.



Sri Lanka says strong political will essential to achieve substantive progress at the IGC

WIPO  ICG 3feb2014WIPO  ICG 3feb2014-2


Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha has stressed the need for strong political will to overcome the differences among Member States in order to reach a timely conclusion of a legally binding international instrument to protect Genetic Resources (GRs), Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs). Ambassador Aryasinha said such an instrument would prevent the misappropriation of intellectual property relating to GR, TK and TCEs in a fair and balanced manner, and offer the necessary protection to the human and natural resources that would bring considerable benefits to the people of the developing world. He underlined the need to strike the right balance between the rights of creators and holders of GRTKF on the one hand, as well as the interests of users on the other.


Secretary Weeratunga briefs Geneva diplomats on progress in national reconciliation

llrc brief p1 21jan2014

Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga who briefed Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in Geneva at the Palais des Nations on Tuesday (21st January 2014) on ‘Progress in the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka’, has said the Government of Sri Lanka has done all that was humanly possible to implement the recommendations of the National Plan of Action on the implementation of the LLRC, since its approval by the Cabinet of Ministers in July 2012.


Sri Lanka and the Philippines discuss collaboration between the Colombo Process and Abu Dhabi Dialogue

Colombo Process Manila Meeting -2014

Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Dilan Perera met with his counterpart, Secretary Labour and Employment Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz of the Philippines on Monday 6 January in Manila. The areas for collaboration discussed at the meeting included pre-departure orientation, qualification recognition process, comprehensive information orientation programmes and recruitment standards.

Minister Perera and Secretary Dimapilis-Baldoz met in their respective capacities as the current chairs-in-office of the two Regional Consultative Processes on the management of overseas employment and contractual labour in Asia, the Colombo Process and the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, respectively. Sri Lanka assumed the chair of the Colombo Process, comprising 11 countries of origin in Asia, last October in Geneva. CP comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, while ADD has a membership that includes all CP members, and additionally receiving countries Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


G-15 calls for fresh impetus for early conclusion of the DDA with a “development” -oriented outcome

Minister Industry-dec2013

The G-15, a Summit level Group of 17 developing countries currently chaired by Sri Lanka, in a Joint Statement  at the WTO’s 9th Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia on Thursday (5 December), called "for a fresh impetus for an early conclusion of the DDA with a development-oriented outcome and also emphasizes the importance of the accession to WTO by developing countries, particularly the LDCs".


G-15 emphasizes need to address international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner

Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Chairman of the Personal Representatives of the Group of Fifteen (G-15) has said the group recognizes the need to address international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner, premised on the developmental paradigm of migration that is sensitive to the national circumstances of countries of origin, transit and destination and one that seeks to maximize the mutually beneficial nature of international migration while reducing its negative effects. He said the G-15 was committed to work together at both the regional and international level for the protection of migrants, and believed that the IOM should continue to play a lead role in discussions relating to the post-2015 development agenda on issues concerning migration.

Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations when he delivered a joint statement at the 103rd Council of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) held in Geneva, on 28 November 2013, on behalf of G-15, a Summit Level Group of Developing Countries comprising 17 member States - Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. 


SL to address regional mismatches on supply & demand in foreign employment throgh Colombo Process–Minister Dilan Perera


Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare Dilan Perera has said Sri Lanka which recently assumed the Chairmanship of  the Colombo Process - the Regional Consultative Process on migration, will do its utmost to share its experience and bring together the eleven countries and nine observer countries of this group to address common interests, including the mismatches between supply and demand and applying ethical concepts to foreign employment management.  He said Sri Lanka will also play its full part in developing the post 2015 Millennium goal development architecture, emphasizing on Migration and Development. 


G15 calls for promotion of South-South Cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property

Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Chairman of the Personal Representatives of the Group of Fifteen (G-15), has urged WIPO to take measures to promote South-South Cooperation in the field of Intellectual Property for Development. He said that “WIPO should act as a catalyst to increase triangular cooperation between developing countries and LDC’s, through initiatives to identify best practices in the use of intellectual property for, inter alia, technology transfer, public health, food security, and other global challenges in which intellectual property has an important role to play".


Secretary Defence calls on Pope Francis

HS DS photo-21nov13

His Holiness Pope Francis received Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa at an audience in the Vatican on Wednesday. Mr. Rajapaksa who visited the Vatican as the Special Envoy of His Excellency the President, conveyed to Pope Francis an invitation from President Mahinda Rajapaksa to visit Sri Lanka in the near future.

During his visit, the Secretary also paid courtesy calls on dignitaries of the Vatican City State. Mr Rajapaksa appreciated efforts by the Holy See to promote world peace, disarmament, interfaith dialogue and dialogue among civilisations. He said that as a nation that has been blessed with a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural social fabric, and more importantly as a country that was coming out of a long period of conflict, Sri Lanka valued the strength that comes from the unity of the diverse communities in Sri Lanka. After almost thirty years of suffering, Sri Lanka had embarked upon a new era of development and reconciliation for all its people and looked upon the international community for encouragement and support.


Sri Lanka in focus at UN Women’s Guild Bazaar in Geneva

Sri Lanka counter at the UN Bazaar 2013
Sri Lanka’s renowned tourist attractions and its finest teas were in focus at the National Stall set by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Geneva at the United Nations Women’s Guild Bazaar held on Tuesday, 19 November 2013 at the Palais des Nations.  Organized by  the United Nations Women’s Guild and Permanent Missions accredited to the United Nations in Geneva, over the years the UNWG Bazaar has become a premier event in the UN calendar, with more than 150 country’s National stalls which attracting close upon 6,000 visitors.


WIPO and Sri Lanka to initiate a 10 Point Action Plan on Intellectual Property

18 nov 2013 dg visit sl

Dr. Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) based in Geneva, who was in Colombo on a three day visit from 5-7 November 2013, said that WIPO and Sri Lanka are working out a 10-Point Action Plan towards strengthening the Intellectual Property Regime (IPR) in the country. He acknowledged that Sri Lanka could accrue many benefits through greater focus on Intellectual Property (IP) and also noted that in a highly competitive world and a global marketplace, proper IPR safeguards need to be in place. Dr. Francis Gurry made these observations at the media briefing held in Colombo at the end of his visit to Sri Lanka. 

As a colleague of the late former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, Dr. Gurry was in Colombo, invited by Ms. Sugandhi Kadirgamar in early 2013, to deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Oration 2013, organized by the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies. 


Sri Lanka assumes leadership of the Colombo Process

photo CPThe Chairmanship of the Colombo Process wastransferred from the Government of Bangladesh to the Government of Sri Lanka during a meeting held at thePermanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva on 21 October 2013.

The Colombo Process is a Regional Consultative Process on the management of overseas employment and contractual labour for countries of origin in Asia, which was initiated at Ministerial Consultations for Asian Labour Sending Countries held in 2003 in Colombo. The group includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, and has met in Manila (2004), Bali (2005) and Dhaka (2011) to review and monitor the implementation of previous recommendations and identify areas for future actions. The Geneva headquartered International Organization for Migration (IOM) serves as the secretariat for the Colombo Process.


Sri Lanka leads G-15 in call for Heightened South-South Cooperation

G15photoweb 1                                                                        G15photoweb 2

 The G-15 foreign ministers, meeting on the side-lines of the General Assembly last week (27 September 2013), renewed their commitment for enhanced engagement and cooperation among themselves, as well as with the relevant Geneva-based institutions. Their primary focus was on newly emerging areas of cooperation in step with the evolving post-2015 development agenda, and they agreed to expand cooperation in four new thematic areas – information communication technology, intellectual property, migration for development and renewable energy. The Group includes Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.



SL receives broad cross-regional support in the HRC on substantive progress in reconciliation

Sri Lanka received strong cross-regional support in the Human Rights Council from countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America on Thursday ( 26 September 2013) which uniformly welcomed and commended the country’s significant progress achieved in the reconciliation process. 


High Commissioner Pillay has no mandate to set deadlines on Sri Lanka - Ambassador Aryasinha

Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha told the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday (25 September 2013) "Sri Lanka strongly repudiates the High Commissioner’s assertion that if certain concerns are not comprehensively addressed before March 2014, she believes the international community will have a duty to establish its own inquiry mechanisms". The Ambassador said High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay had "no mandate to make such a claim". He said having accomplished the task of bringing normalcy to the lives of the civilian population, GOSL has put in place "multiple mechanisms" to address concerns relating to accountability.


Sri Lanka empathetic to the many challenges faced by Sudan in its progression towards normalcy

In an intervention made during the interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on Sudan in the 24th session of the Human Rights Council on 25 September 2013, Deputy Solicitor General Mr. A. H. M. D Nawaz said that, as a country that has emerged from a protracted terrorist conflict, Sri Lanka is empathetic to the many challenges faced by Sudan in its progression towards normalcy.


Sri Lanka reiterates its strong commitment to the core principles of equality and non-discrimination

Sri Lanka recognized the need to address, at the global level, contemporary manifestations of racial discrimination such as xenophobia and related intolerance and reiterated its strong commitment to the core principles of equality and non-discrimination embodied in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.


Sri Lanka believes IP is an important catalyst for economic and social empowerment

Addressing the 51st Session of the WIPO Assemblies on 23rd September 2013, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva observed that the innovations and the well-managed mechanisms for protection of intellectual property rights play a crucial role in enhancing the social and economic development of a nation.

As the world is looking beyond the year 2015 for way forward through a comprehensive development agenda, IP has a crucial role to play in enriching the lives of vulnerable sections of humanity and creating greater opportunities for growth and prosperity.  Sri Lanka believes that IP is not only a tool for innovation and creativity but also an important catalyst for economic and social empowerment of a wide spectrum of people.


SL asks detractors at HRC not to discredit the Northern PC election process or prejudge its outcome

Exercising a 'right of reply' with regard to references made to Sri Lanka by Germany, the US and Ireland under Agenda Item 4 - General Debate at the ongoing 24th Session of the Human Rights Council, the Sri Lanka delegation on Thursday (19 September 2013) said, it seemed ironic that at a time when for the first time since the introduction of the Provincial Council system in 1987 elections to the Northern Provincial Council are to be held later this week that Germany should choose to discredit the process and prejudge its outcome and impact. It was noted that the commitment of the Government to ensure the transparent and free and fair conduct of the election not only to the Northern Provincial Council, but also to the Central and North Western Provincial Councils which go to the polls this Saturday is clearly demonstrated by the presence of  24 election observers from the South Asian region as well as from Commonwealth countries, on the invitation of the Elections Commissioner.

Full text of the statement

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