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.

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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.

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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.
 

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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".

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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.

 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Draft bill to safeguard the existence and rights of Sri Lanka's indigenous people


The Government of Sri Lanka has launched a three-year project, implemented by the Ministries of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage, to table a draft bill to safeguard the existence and rights of the indigenous people, “vanniyaletto” also known as the “aadivasi”. The project also provides legal facilities to the indigenous community, measures to conserve their traditional knowledge and traditional medicines, and support to establish a museum on their heritage, among others.  In order to create greater awareness about the indigenous community, which is instrumental towards the preservation of their lifestyle, the Government has also established several cultural centres and documented the history of the community and their way of life.

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Sri Lanka calls for greater focus on addressing the special needs of developing countries


Sri Lanka says, while there needs to be commitment at both national and international levels to achieve the right to development, there must be more focus on addressing the special needs of developing countries which are unequally impacted by structural problems, external events and global economic and financial crises.

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Sri Lanka says approach of each state to reconciliation must be context-specific


Sri Lanka has highlighted the highlight the need to adopt "a pragmatic, context specific approach in addressing issues of transitional justice" and noted that "the approach of each state to reconciliation must be context-specific, taking into account the particularities of each state and the aspirations of its people".

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Ambassador Aryasinha says Sri Lanka looks toward an objective and unbiased approach by HC Ms. Pillay

Sri Lanka looks toward an objective and unbiased approach to Sri Lanka by High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay in fulfilment of her mandate, following her recent visit where she had unfettered access to asses first-hand the on-going reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. This would also enable her to be better placed to not give credence to unsubstantiated allegations of those with vested interests and agendas, largely driven by certain extreme elements in the Sri Lankan Diaspora.

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation  Ravinatha Aryasinha made this observation when he delivered the national statement at the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva which opened on Monday (9 September 2013).

Full text of the Statement and Media Release.

Sri Lanka’s education policy strengthens understanding between different ethnic groups


Sri Lanka has highlighted the importance of education as an essential tool in combating racism and racial discrimination. Intervening during an Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance at the on-going 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council, Assistant Director/Foreign Affairs Mr. Madhuka Wickramarachchi, observed that Sri Lanka’s education system which is founded on the principles of non-discrimination and equal rights for education have contributed positively in strengthening the understanding between different ethnic groups in Sri Lanka.

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SLsays progress in addressing human rights concerns and reconciliation acknowledged by Int.community

The Sri Lanka delegation to the on-going 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva has said " the Government's progress with regard to addressing human rights concerns and reconciliation is being amply demonstrated on the ground, acknowledged by many in the international community, and elaborated comprehensively and in detail at successive Council sessions by the Sri Lanka delegation, including during the current Council session' ".
 

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Sri Lanka's high enrolment rates in schools contribute to achieving gender parity


Sri Lanka has observed that the high enrolment rates at primary and secondary levels which reflect the impact of longstanding policies supporting access to basic education without discrimination, have contributed towards Sri Lanka’s success in achieving gender parity in primary, secondary and tertiary education.

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SL emphasizes need for regulation, transparency and accountability in funding to NGOs and NPOs


Sri Lanka has emphasized that regulation, transparency and accountability of funding to NGOs and NPOs is a pre-requisite in the interest of national security and counter-terrorism as recognized by states, and that obligation placed on states to adhere to the regulatory framework in compliance with 40 Recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force, makes it mandatory to monitor fund transfers of all financial institutions inclusive of NPOs and INGOs (associations) and other financial institutions, in countering financing of terrorism, money laundering or other related trans-national crimes.

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Sri Lanka says LLRC Action Plan seeks to extend the services of legal aid centres


Sri Lanka has observed that the Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka primarily funded by the state, covers most parts of the country with approximately 70 legal aid centres, including in the former conflict-affected areas, and records a high caseload and provision of services. 

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Sri Lanka’s candidate re-elected to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers


Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in India, was re-elected to the UN Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW), at the election held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 30 May 2013.
 

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Ambassador Aryasinha delivers the Sri Lanka National Statement at the 23rd Session of the HRC


Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation to the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) delivering the national statement on Monday (27 May 2013), apprised the Council of progress with regard to reconciliation in Sri Lanka since its last session in March 2013, Sri Lanka’s engagement with the Council and its mechanisms and on Sri Lanka’s position with regard to thematic issues of relevance to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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A strong political will needed to finalize the process of endorsing the draft of UNRtD criteria-SL

 

Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has said,strong political will is needed to finalize the process of considering, revising, and ultimately endorsing the draft Right to Development criteria and operational sub-criteria, towards the elaboration of a coherent set of standards on this intrinsic right. Addressing the 14th session of the U.N Open-ended Intergovernmental working group on the Right to Development at the UN in Geneva on 13 May 2013, he said with the world struggling through multiple crises, a renewed international commitment toward sustainable development at RIO+20, and the post-2015 development agenda upon us, the effective implementation of the right to development is required now, more than ever before.   


Full text of the Statement

Ambassador Aryasinha thanks countries that stood by Sri Lanka

Says vote a rare moment of solidarity in re-constituted HRC for those who continue to believe in principle


Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has said Thursdays vote on Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), had provided a rare moment of solidarity for countries that continued to believe in principle, to stand up and be counted, at a time the composition of the HRC is heavily weighted in favour of Western powers, and Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Jordan, Russia and Saudi Arabia who resisted action against Sri Lanka in 2012, were no longer members of the HRC. Ambassador Aryasinha said the Government of Sri Lanka was deeply grateful to the countries that stood by Sri Lanka this year - by voting against, abstaining and absenting themselves, and also helping in lobbying for support, thereby resisting this resolution, which was both deeply intrusive, as well as precedent setting.


Full text of the Media Release in English and Sinhala

Sri Lanka’s statement on the resolution No. A/HRC/22/L.1/Rev.1: at the UN HRC

The Resolution before the Council today is premised upon Resolution 19/2 of 2012 which was not recognized by Sri Lanka.


Despite our dissociation with that initiative, I must point out the salient features of that Resolution which called for Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of its domestic mechanism, the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and to formulate an action plan for implementation. Since its adoption, Sri Lanka has shown clear progress towards comprehensive reconciliation including by the preparation and implementation of the action plan called for by the Resolution.


Full text of the statement

Sri Lanka vote highlights increasing divide within Human Rights Council

With 13 countries opposing the resolution, 8 countries abstaining, and 1 country absenting itself, 22 out of a total of 47 members of the Human Rights Council, refused to support the U.S. sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka which was taken up for debate and vote at the 22nd Session of the UNHRC in Geneva on Thursday (21 March 2013). This cross regional group included Congo, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Thailand, UAE, Uganda, Venezuela (which opposed) and Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, and Malaysia (which abstained) and Gabon (which absented itself).  

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Developing countries express their confidence for the efforts made by Sri Lanka

Developing countries expressed their confidence for the efforts made by Sri Lanka towards achieving national reconciliation and commended its level of cooperation with the UN.They clearly highlighted that the report A/HRC/22/38 was tabled today (20 March 2012) at the UN Human Rights Council under the agenda item 2 by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) was unwarranted and a clear overstepping of its mandate.They also underlined that the report of the OHCHR has no nexus to the principle objectives of the US sponsored resolution 19/2 of March 2012, and therefore, any further initiatives in the Council, based on or emanating from this report are counterproductive.

Full text of Media Release

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