Sri Lanka's Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez Chairs the Social Forum 2018 of the UN Human Rights Council

01 10 2018 socialforum01

The 2018 Social Forum of the United Nations Human Rights Council kicked off today at the United Nations in Geneva, with Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative Ambassador Azeez as the Chairperson-Rapporteur, alongside High Commissioner for Human Rights Madam Michelle Bachelet and Council President Vogislav Suc. This three day Forum will address  the possibilities of further promoting human rights for all and to strengthen universal respect for them, through a thematic focus.

Opening the 2018 Social Forum of UN Human Rights Council today Ambassador Azeez says 'this Forum has served as an inclusive platform for multi-stakeholders & has enabled a deep reflection, among participants, on important themes that could bring out diverse aspects of intersectionality between Human Rights and the society'. 

Addressing the Social Forum further, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative stated that at a time when every recognized norm and value on which the UN, international order, and multilateralism stand, was being put to test in today's globalized and yet volatile world, the importance of Social Forum, stands enhanced as a bridge-builder and as an enabler of an exchange of diverse perspectives aimed to strengthen and elaborate such norms and values.

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Sri Lanka’s Statement on the Report on Sri Lanka by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

12 09 2018 hrc

 

“Sri Lanka’s continuing engagement with the special procedures of the Human Right Council testifies to the priority we attach to open and candid exchanges” said Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, delivering a Statement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council today (12th September 2018). Participating representative of the ‘Country Concerned’ in the Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council, emphasized “a number of positive developments have taken place strengthening governance, rule of law and human rights as acknowledged in the report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention”. The Statement followed the presentation of the Report (A/HRC/39/45/Add.2) on the visit of Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to Sri Lanka from 4th to 15th December 2017.

Full Statement

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka

Geneva

12th September 2018

Interview with Chairperson of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP)

An Interview given by Mr Saliya Pieris, Chairperson of the Office on Missing Persons (OMP) to the " 99 minutes" Programme of  the Rupavahini channel could be accessed via following URL: 

https://youtu.be/-lvXhSg9Rdk

 

Public Communications Division

Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

Colombo 

12 July 2018

MEDIA RELEASE ON A LIST OF NAMES PUBLISHED ONLINE BY THE ITJP - INTERNATIONAL TRUTH AND JUSTICE PROJECT

The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to a list of names published online by the ITJP (International Truth and Justice Project). According to the ITJP, this list, which presently consists of 351 names and can be accessed at http://www.disappearance.itjpsl.com/#lang=english is of persons who are alleged to have disappeared while in the custody of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in May 2009.

The Office on Missing Persons (OMP) which has been established by an Act of Parliament (Act No. 14 of 2016 as amended by Act No. 09 of 2017) is the permanent and independent entity in Sri Lanka that is vested with the tasks of, inter alia, searching and tracing of missing persons and clarifying the circumstances in which such persons went missing, and their fate; making recommendations to the relevant authorities towards reducing the incidents of missing persons; protecting the rights and interests of missing persons and their relatives; and identifying proper avenues of redress to which such missing persons or their relatives may have recourse.

Therefore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges and encourages anyone in Sri Lanka or overseas to kindly share with the Office on Missing Persons:

-any further/additional/detailed information pertaining to persons whose names have been listed by the ITJP and the circumstances under which they went missing;

-any other lists/information that may be available with anyone/ entity pertaining to any individuals including lists of security forces and police personnel, who may be considered to be missing, as defined by Section 27 of the Act.

Kindly direct any information available to:

Chairperson,

Office on Missing Persons,

Address: 34, Narahenpita Road, Nawala, Sri Lanka

E-mail: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

Press Release Sinhala

Press Release Tamil

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka

Colombo 1

 

20 June 2018

 

[1]http://www.parliament.lk/uploads/acts/gbills/english/6016.pdf

http://www.parliament.lk/uploads/acts/gbills/english/6045.pdf

 

Ambassador Azeez meets H.E. Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights

30 05 2018 hrchighcomissioner

As part of a series of meetings that Ambassador A.L.A Azeez, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative, had with Heads of UN and other agencies in Geneva, he called on H.E. Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 18 May 2018. Having warmly received Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative, High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein conveyed to Ambassador Azeez his best wishes for the new assignment while appreciating the Government of Sri Lanka for the continuing cooperative engagement with his Office and the Council.

Ambassador Azeez elaborated the various measures taken by the Government of Sri Lanka, especially since 2015, to improve and advance human rights, highlighting areas in which further work was continuing and progress was being made. High Commissioner shared his perspectives on matters of priority interest to both sides and specifically noted the positive contribution of technical assistance in areas on which Sri Lanka required capacity building and other forms of support.

Peacebuilding and reconciliation, protection and promotion of human rights, rule of law and other concerns including developments in the wider region were among the matters discussed.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka

Geneva

30 May 2018

Statement by Sri Lanka at the 28th Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the Deteriorating Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

18 05 2018 28thsession

Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Sri Lanka Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, delivering a Statement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka at the 28th Special Session of the Human Rights Council today, 18 May 2018, emphasized that the security of all civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) should receive the utmost consideration and that their human rights should be upheld and protected at all times. 

He further stressed "Diplomacy and political leadership still have immense potential to carry dialogue through to success if pursued diligently, having regard to the fundamentals of a Two State solution". 

Full Statement SinhalaTamil

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
Geneva
18 May 2018   

The myth of inferiority attributed to women over centuries must be dispelled, Sri Lanka urges the UN Expert Forum in Geneva

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Addressing experts, Governments, and other participants at the Intersessional Expert Meeting on the full enjoyment of human rights by all women and girls and the systematic mainstreaming of gender perspective into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva stated “It is incumbent on all stakeholders to strive to create a culture of respect for equality and non-discrimination and to work towards dispelling the myth of inferiority attributed to women over centuries”. He called for all stakeholders to work together to ensure a dignified life and a better future for all women and girls.

The Intersessional Expert Meeting began its two day session in Geneva today, with the opening remarks of Ms. Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, followed by presentations by experts representing different UN agencies and an interactive dialogue.

Carefully thought-through and targeted approaches geared to empowering women”, Ambassador Azeez stated, were “imperative for the effective advancement of development goals in national and international programmes.”

He emphasized that ensuring access to quality health services and quality education would significantly improve life chances and better employment opportunities for women and girls. “Such empowered women and girls can bring transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities, societies and nations they live in”, he remarked.

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Sharing the experiences of Sri Lanka in recent times, he outlined the measures taken by the Government to address challenges faced by women, such as the adoption of a National Action Plan for prevention of gender based violence (GBV) and the National Human Rights Action Plan (2017-2021) as well as the enactment of legislation aimed at increasing women representation in local governing authorities.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative reiterated that achieving gender equality was not just an issue of women and girls, and that it went way beyond, calling for the active involvement of all stakeholders.

Full Statement

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka

Geneva

2 May 2018

Sri Lanka says ‘In Development Dialogue, Addressing poverty and other constraints in imperative’.

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While individual States have the primary responsibility for national development, the need for further collective efforts and collaboration, between States and between numerous stakeholders, in addressing poverty, disasters, conflicts and health hazards are imperative, Sri Lanka said on 23rd April 2018, addressing the General Debate of the 19th Session of the Working Group on Right to Development (RtD). Sri Lanka’s Delegate Minister Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva Ms. Shashika Somaratne, while taking note of the progress made so far by the Working Group, reiterated the call for finalizing as a matter of urgency, the criteria and the operational sub-criteria, which are being under negotiation since 2010. In this context, she drew attention to the proposal by the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), on a set of standards regarding the implementation of the Right to Development and the non-paper aimed at finalizing the consideration of the criteria and sub-criteria with a view, to facilitate the process.  

In this context she further said that in Sri Lanka, the Government through its “Vision 2025 : A Country Enriched” policy document, has now launched a comprehensive framework to alleviate poverty, address regional disparities within the country, and promote prosperity to all its people, with a view to ensuring the holistic realization of Human Rights while implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. In addition, the Sustainable Development Act has been enacted by the Parliament in October 2017, and Sri Lanka will share its experience during the June 2018 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) of the ECOSOC in New York, by submitting its National Voluntary Review (NVR), on “Transformation towards Sustainable Resilient Societies”.

Full Statement

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to UN in Geneva

24th April 2018

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Tilak Marapana, addresses the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

21 03 2018 HRC37session

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Hon. Tilak Marapana, PC., MP, addressed the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) following the presentation of the report of  the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Sri Lanka by Ms. Kate Gilmore, the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, today 21 March 2018.

Hon. (Dr) Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Special Assignments, Hon. Faiszer Musthapha, Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, Mr. Mano Tittawella, Secretary General, Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM), Mr. A.L.A. Azeez, Addl.Secretary/EU, Commonwealth and Multilateral Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Nerin Pulle, Deputy Solicitor General, Attorney General’s Department, Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Ms. Mahishini Colonne, Director General/UN, US and Canada of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prashanthi Mahindaratne, Advisor to the Hon. Prime Minister and the diplomatic officers of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva were associated with the Foreign Minister. 

Full Statement by the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs

Festina Lente document as at 20 March 2018 

 

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to UN in Geneva

21 March 2018

Sri Lanka’s UPR Report Adopted

19 03 2018 upr

The adoption of the Universal Periodic Review Report on Sri Lanka took place this afternoon at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Sri Lanka was represented by Permanent Representative Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha and assisted by the Deputy Permanent Representative Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya.

The Statement made by Ambassador Aryasinha

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to UN in Geneva

19 March 2018

Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) considers Sri Lanka Report at its 77th Session

15 01 2018 crc1

Consideration of the 5th and 6th Periodic Reports of Sri Lanka under the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) took place at the 77th Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) held at the Palais Wilson in Geneva, on 15th January 2018.  Mrs. Chandrani Senaratne, Secretary of Women and Child Affairs of Sri Lanka led the Sri Lanka delegation.

The Sri Lanka delegation to the review included Ambassador H.E. Ravinatha Aryasinha, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, Mr. A. Pathinathan, Chief Secretary, Northern Province, Mrs. T.T. Upulmalee, Acting Additional Secretary, Presidential Secretariat, Mrs. Chandima Sigera, Commissioner Department of Probation and Child Care, Ms. Ayesha Jinasena, Senior Deputy Solicitor General, Attorney General’s Department, Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva, Mrs. Marini de Livera, Chairperson,  National Child Protection Authority, Major General R.M.J.A. Rathnayake, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, Ms. Badra Withanage, Director of Education, Ministry of Education,  Dr. Priyani Senadheera, Director of Maternal and Child Health, Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Ms. Lanka Amarasinghe, Director , Women and Children Bureau, Sri Lanka Police,  Ms. Shashika Somaratne,  Minister Counsellor, Ms. Mafusa Lafir, First Secretary and  Ms. Dulmini Dahanayake,  Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva and  Ms. Rajmi Manatunga, Assistant Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

15 01 2018 crc

Full Opening Statement - PDF Format

Full Opening Statement - Word Format

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka

15 January 2018

Geneva

Adoption of the Working Group Report of the Third Cycle of Sri Lanka’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the 28th Session of the UPR Working Group, 17 November 2017 in Geneva

17 11 2017 upr

The Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) adopted the report on Sri Lanka today, 17 November 2017 in Geneva.

Sri Lanka received a total of 230 recommendations from Member States and accepted 177 recommendations while it noted 53 recommendations. Sri Lanka also made 12 voluntary pledges. The Head of the Sri Lanka delegation, Hon. (Dr.) Harsha de Silva, MP, Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs made his closing remarks during the adoption.

Remarks by the Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva 

Word Format

 

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka

Geneva

17 November 2017

Third Cycle of Sri Lanka’s Review at the 28th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group, 15 November 2017 in Geneva

15 11 2017 UPR

Third Cycle of Sri Lanka’s Review at the 28th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group is being held on Wednesday, 15 November 2017 in Geneva. 

The Sri Lanka’s delegation to the review is led by the Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Dr. Harsha de Silva. The delegation comprised of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Attorney-General’s Department, the President’s Office, and the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva.

Full Statement of the Opening Statement delivered by Dr. Harsha de Silva , (Word Format)

Concluding Remarks made by Hon. (Dr.) Harsha De Silva ,MP, Deputy Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs.

Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam , Secretary Foreign Affairs made interventions on Torture, Office of the Missing Persons and Transitional Justice.

Mr. Nerin Pulle, Deputy Solicitor General at the Attorney General’s Department made interventions on Hate Speech & Minority Rights, Sexual & Gender based Violence, LGBTIQ and Persons with Disabilities (PwD).

Ms. Chandima Wickremesinghe, Senior Assistant Secretary to the President, made intervention on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

 

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka

Geneva

15 November 2017

Sri Lanka to be reviewed at the 28th Session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group on 15 November 2017

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Sri Lanka's Report under the Universal Periodic Review comes up for consideration by the OHCHR Working Group on UPR on Wednesday 15 November 2017, in Geneva.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was established by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in 2006, as a process through which the human rights record of every UN Member State is peer-reviewed. 

This review, conducted through the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), is based upon each country’s human rights obligations and commitments in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights instruments to which the country is party, and other sources.  During the process, the country under review submits a written report on its human rights record, and appears before the Council, where it receives recommendations regarding its human rights record from other UN Member States. The country under review is able to ‘accept’ or ‘note’ these recommendations. Those accepted form the basis for future reporting.

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UN ready to provide fullest support to SL to build as an exemplary nation in the world where prosperity and reconciliation achieved -UNSG

25 09 2017 unsg

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says the UN is ready to   provide every possible assistance to Sri Lanka in its efforts to build as a prosperous nation where the reconciliation is strengthened.

He further said that the UN will provide its maximum support to build as an exemplary nation in the world, where all the Sri Lankans can live with prosper and reconciliation, while closely associating with Sri Lanka and its citizens.

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Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process is proceeded step by step – President to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

25 09 2017 hrc

President Maithripala Sirisena says Sri Lanka is performing for the betterment of its people with much responsibility, in keeping with the charters of UN, as a member of United Nations. He said the government is taking the process to ensure human rights and reconciliation forward step by step. The President made these remarks during his meeting with Prince Zeid al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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Invitation for views and observations on Sri Lanka’s draft National Report for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Human Rights

  • The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process in which the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States are reviewed periodically. It was introduced when the UN Human Rights Council was created by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, and it was adopted unanimously by all UN Member States. Under this process, the human rights situation of all member countries of the UN is reviewed every 4.5 years.
  • The UPR is a State-driven process. Each State is given an opportunity to declare what actions have been taken to improve the human rights situation in a country and to fulfil their respective human rights obligations. The UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed. The ultimate aim of this mechanism is to improve the human rights situation in all countries and address human rights violations wherever they occur.

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Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) considers Sri Lanka Report

09 06 2017 cescr01

Consideration of the Fifth Periodic Report of Sri Lanka under the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) took place at the 61st Session of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, held at the Palais Wilson in Geneva, on 8-9 June 2017. Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva led the Sri Lanka delegation and introduced the report.

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Sri Lanka Responds to Report of SR on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers

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Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva delivered the Statement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka as the country concerned during the Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur (SR) on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr. Diego García-Sayán, at the 35th Session of the Human Rights Council today (12 June 2017).  The Statement followed the presentation of the Report (A/HRC/35/31/Add 1) on the visit of previous Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Ms. Mónica Pinto to Sri Lanka from 29th April to 7th May 2016.

 

 Full Statement



Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
Geneva


12 June 2017

Sri Lanka calls for the use of the framework of Right to Development in reinforcing the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has emphasized the need to fully utilize the holistic normative framework that the Right to Development provides in the realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. While affirming Sri Lanka's continued support to the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development, he also highlighted the need for early finalization of the draft criteria and sub-criteria enabling the operationalization and realization of the Right to Development at the international level.

Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations when he delivered Sri Lanka’s statement at the 18th Session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development today (03 April 2017) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.  

Full Statement

 

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka

Geneva

03 April 2017   

Sri Lanka thanks countries that helped in Geneva

 

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The Government of Sri Lanka extends its appreciation to all the countries that extended support to Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, 23 March 2017, for the adoption of Resolution A/HRC/34/1 titled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’, by consensus.

We deeply appreciate the understanding shown by all, and support for Sri Lanka’s processes for promoting reconciliation, justice, and human rights, towards enduring peace and prosperity for all Sri Lankans.

 

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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Harsha De Silva, MP, addresses the 34th Session of the HRC during the adoption of the draft resolution 'Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka'

   

23 03 2017 DeputyFMcountryconcerned

 

 

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Harsha De Silva, MP, addressed the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council today (23 March 2017) as the country concerned, during the adoption of the draft resolution A/HRC/34/L.1 “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka”, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

 

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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Harsha De Silva, MP, addresses the 34th Session of the HRC

22 -3 2017 HRC34DyMFA

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Harsha De Silva, MP, addressed the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council following the presentation of the Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Sri Lanka  by the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, today (22 March 2017).

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Ambassador Aryasinha responds to the Report on Sri Lanka by the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues

15 -3 2017 SRMinority

 

Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva delivered the Statement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka as the country concerned during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur (SR) on Minority Issues, at the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council today (15 March 2017).  The statement followed the presentation of the Report (A/HRC/34/53/Add.3) by the Special Rapporteur Ms. Rita Izsák-Ndiaye on her visit to Sri Lanka from 10 to 20 October 2016.

 

Full Statement


Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
Geneva


15 March 2017

Briefing on “Development in Sri Lanka” held on the sidelines of HRC 34

07 03 2017 headtablephoto

 

Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Jayampathy Wickramaratne, MP, President's Counsel (PC), Mr. Mano Tittawella, Secretary General Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) and other government officials and Mr. Jehan Perera, Executive Director, National Peace Council of Sri Lanka representing the NGOs and civil society briefed members of civil society and Permanent Missions at a Side Event on ‘Developments in Sri Lanka’ on the sidelines of the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council held at the Palais des Nations on 01 March 2017. 

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera Meets High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein

06 03 2017 HighCommissioner

 

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera met UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 01 March 2017. 

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