Media Release

 “Sri Lanka should be encouraged in its reconciliation process, rather than being singled out for any disproportionate attention in the HRC”

Exercising a ‘right of Reply’ to a statement made by Ms Esther Brimmer, US Assistant Secretary of State for international organisations during the High Level Segment of the 22nd Human Rights Council today ( 26 February 2013), Ms. Priyanga Wicremasinghe, Counsellor of the Sri Lanka Permanent Mission in Geneva said, “Sri Lanka should be encouraged in its reconciliation process, rather than being singled out for any disproportionate attention in this Council”. She said, “it is especially so, at a time when having overcome a 30-year long terrorist conflict, as well as having averted what many feared would be a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’, Sri Lanka is implementing a comprehensive process of reconciliation involving all communities based on the National Action Plan on the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC”.  

Full intervention made by Counsellor Wicremasinghe is below:

Right of Reply of Sri Lanka to the Statement made by the US, 26th February 2013 

Mr President, 

My delegation wishes to exercise its right of reply with regard to the reference to Sri Lanka contained in the statement made today, by Ms Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State for international organisations, of the USA. 

We strongly reject any unfair, biased, unprincipled and unjust approach that may be adopted by this Council towards the protection and promotion of Human Rights of Sri Lanka.  

We reiterate our consistent position that any action taken in the promotion and protection of human rights of a country must have the consent of that country, and be based on the principles cooperation and genuine dialogue, and the founding principles of universality, impartiality, non-selectivity which govern the mandate of the Council, as stipulated in GA resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, and provisions in Council Resolutions 5/1 and 5/2 of 18 June 2007, and 16/21 of 25 March 2011.   

Sri Lanka is therefore firmly of the view that this Council should not embark upon or encourage either debate or any country-specific resolution by virtue of a singled out process which would run counter to the founding principles as elaborated above.  Doing so will clearly reflects an application of double standards.  

Mr. President,

It is in such context that my delegation is surprised by the statement made by the US delegate drawing disproportionate attention towards Sri Lanka. It is especially so, at a time when having overcome a 30-year long terrorist conflict, as well as having averted what many feared would be a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’, Sri Lanka is implementing a comprehensive process of reconciliation involving all communities based on the National Action Plan on the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC.  

Mr. President,

Sri Lanka should be encouraged in its endeavour in this reconciliation process, rather than being singled out for any disproportionate attention in this Council. 

Sri Lanka Permanent Mission

Geneva

26 February 2013

 

Ministry of External Affairs,

Republic Building,

Colombo 01. 

Fax : 0094-11-2446091

          0094-11-2333450

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