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Should not Sri Lanka be given time and space to continue process of implementation and reconciliation without undue interference?

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By Mahinda Samarasinghe

Madam President,

Thank you for this opportunity, as the country concerned, to outline our position in respect of the draft resolution before the Council.

Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Plantation Industries of Sri Lanka addresses before the voting of resolution on Sri Lanka L.2 during the 19th session of the Human Rights Council. 22 March 2012. Photo by Jean-Marc Ferré

Many in this Council would agree that Sri Lanka has been a role model of, consistently and unambiguously, engaging with everyone in the Council; not just on this occasion but over the years.

This engagement has been voluntary and was not restricted to a period in the aftermath of the conflict, but occurred even during the height of the long-drawn-out armed conflict, against one of the worst manifestations of terrorism.

This transparent policy of sharing information has been out of a sense of responsibility as a member of the international community and in the face of a systematic and organized campaign aimed at distorting and misinforming this Council and the outside world of the situation in Sri Lanka. May I assure you, Madam President, that we will continue to actively engage.

Despite this exemplary interaction, Sri Lanka has been selectively targeted by certain countries at the behest of some who, we believe, still bear resentment at the clear and decisive decision taken at the Special Session in 2009. This attempt to undermine the Resolution of 2009 is unacceptable especially because of the continuing improvement in Sri Lanka during the intervening period.

A resolution that dwells on the past will impose on this Council the character of an adjudicatory body, with no limitation as to its competence to reopen and revisit matters of the past, which could have consequences affecting many others. Those who live in glass houses, Madam President, are best advised to exercise caution before throwing stones.

Madam President,

We are a nation proud of our history, heritage and values as much as any other nation state. We take our responsibilities as a member of the international community very seriously and needless to say, are more concerned about ensuring sustainable peace and reconciliation and further promoting the unity of our nation that is multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-ethnic in its composition.

After 30 long years of instability and violence, we have achieved stability and peace. We need to be given time to further consolidate the clear progress that has been achieved in a short period of three years.

Madam President,

It is against this backdrop that my country is compelled to face a misconceived, unwarranted and ill-timed draft resolution, which embodies several harmful elements that clearly violate important principles that will have adverse ramifications, not only for my country, but many other countries.

This is why, Madam President, we took a decision, on a matter of principle, that we will not accept such a Resolution, in an endeavor to also ensure that a bad precedent is not established by this Council.

The way in which we will deal with this matter today will decide whether or not purely parochial, if not political, agendas far removed from the promotion and protection of human rights, will be permitted to prevail.

Madam President,

When we look at this draft resolution, it is clear that the founding principles of the Human Rights Council which are anchored in universality, impartiality, cooperation, non-selectivity and objectivity, are being assailed. If we are true to our consciences, it is not difficult to concede that the situation in Sri Lanka does not warrant the attention and criticism in this Resolution. We are clearly justified in asserting that we require time to realize comprehensive reconciliation.

Madam President,

This Resolution also runs counter to the principle of international law that domestic remedies must be exhausted and should be the first resort, prior to superimposing external mechanisms. In respect of Sri Lanka’s situation, it is barely 3 months since the presentation of the domestic mechanism’s report. Is it fair for this Council to pre-judge our commitment to all aspects of the domestic process at this juncture? Shouldn’t we be given the time and space to continue this process of implementation and of reconciliation without undue interference?

If this proposed intrusion is accepted by this Council, no domestic process would be free to deliver on its mandate unimpeded. Instead, a superimposition of an external mechanism would become the order of the day.

I ask the question: Madam President, would all delegations in this Council subscribe to such abdication of sovereign responsibility and permit a usurpation of an independent nation’s prerogative to act in its people’s paramount interests?

Madam President,

We are aware that many delegations in this Council have consistently taken a principled stand on the appropriateness of country-specific resolutions in keeping with the spirit of the UN Charter. It is clear that the Resolution before us is inconsistent with this principled position. We call upon all countries who value this principle to vote against this draft Resolution.

In conclusion, Madam President, we ask Members of this Council to take an objective view of the Sri Lankan situation in its entirety and grant our people the necessary latitude to complete a process that has already begun.

In keeping with past practice, we will voluntarily keep the Council informed of the progress made. The Universal Periodic Review is the established procedure for this, and it should not be subverted.

The draft Resolution, as presented, seeks to create doubt in a sovereign and independent country’s intent, resolve and capacity to implement the recommendations of its domestic mechanism, without according to it a reasonable time for implementation. It also fails to acknowledge the steps taken and the progress made in the implementation process. Accordingly, the intentions of the government in question are being prejudged, deliberated and concluded upon by the Council even before such government has had the opportunity to fulfill the recommendations of a domestic mechanism.

Furthermore, this Resolution if adopted, would undermine the principle of non-interference in matters within the domestic jurisdiction of a country.

This resolution if adopted will not add value to the implementation process in Sri Lanka; on the contrary, it may well be counter-productive and, as such, those who have been using extreme pressure tactics in garnering support for this ill-timed and unwarranted initiative should be mindful of the responsibility that accompanies it.

Let me assure you Madam President that the Government of Sri Lanka will spare no effort to safeguard the sovereignty and independence of the motherland. As we defeated terrorism through resolute and united action, we will dedicate our efforts to guaranteeing equality, dignity, justice and respect of each and every Sri Lankan, who have reposed their trust in our vision for the future. May I add, Madam President, that no one has to remind us of this responsibility.

We have defeated one of the most ruthless terrorist outfits after 30 years of conflict to free our people. Ironically, proponents and sponsors of this resolution are among those who have proscribed the LTTE and who now seek to give comfort to the proxies of the organization. The impact would be to encourage them to resume their activity under the protective umbrella of these countries and also to undermine a long-standing, well established democracy such as Sri Lanka.

Finally, Madam President, the resolution before this Council for consideration is not acceptable to Sri Lanka as the country concerned. To the sponsor and co-sponsors of this resolution, I say: “Physician, heal thyself”.

(Text of statement by Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe M.P., Minister of Plantation Industries and Special Envoy of H.E. the President of Sri Lank on Human Rights, and Head of Sri Lanka delegation On the Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva on March 22nd 2012)

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25 Comments

  1. Mr.Samarasinghe the IC is fully aware of GOSL past misconduct towards the minority since 1915. Periodic pogroms, burning of Jaffna library, language discremination etc,etc,etc.

    After all these atrocities, how can you say “we are a nation proud of our history, heritage and values”. Besides, GOSL had never investigated any of these atrocities inorder to bring to justice the perpetrators.

    Three years after war, GOSL is still dragging its’ feet to implement what the president has publicly promissed to address the grivences of the minority.

    Should this go on, isn’t three years insfficent to put in place legislations for minorities betterment???????

  2. WHY SRI LANKAN PRESIDENT COULD NOT FIND GENUINE SLFPER TO LEAD THE GENEVA TEAM.MOST OF THOSE WHO HAD BEEN TO GENEVA OR NEW YORK ARE FORMER UNPER.
    ACTULY WIMAL WERA WANSA SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN GENEVA AND HE WOULD LEAD THE TEAM TO WIN.THEN PEOPLE OF SRI LANKA CAN CALL WIMAL WEERAWANSA AS OUR MAJOR GENERAL OF GENEWA.

    THEN HE MIGHT SAY WE WON THE WAR AGAINST TERRORIST LOCALLY AND THE WE WON THE WAR AGAINST INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST.

  3. Be Sensible Sri Lanka: Do what Myanmar has done.

    Who would you rather be like – South Korea or N Korea? The former is a US ally and the latter a Chinese ally. Taiwan or Pakistan? Vietnamese have learned their lesson. So has Myanmar. They have reversed course.

    Reverse course. Respect and trust Tamils. Establish rule of law and completely devolve powers to provinces. At least let them have their own police force.

    Leave their houses and property.

    Give a Tamil a hug.

  4. ….we will dedicate our efforts to guaranteeing equality, dignity, justice and respect of each and every Sri Lankan, who have reposed their trust in our vision for the future……

    Can you let us know your “VISION” for the future?

  5. In no unmistakable terms have 32 of the 47 nations conveyed their distaste of this man’s rigmarole. The world cannot be fooled all the time has been made explicitly clear at the Council session. Yet there seems to be faith that with circumlocution Sri Lanka can pull wool over the eyes of the world. If there be honest intention, a worthwhile course needs to be charted such that a laudable process can be set in motion. When the world sees it, there will be reason to retract on it’s current assessment. One year is a liberal timeline for action and report.

  6. You are a big criminal Mr
    Get ready to go to Hague

    The criminals from Rwanda , Somalia Serbia and Liberia are waiting for you

  7. UNHRC has powers to move resolutions against legitimate governments but they are happily talks to the pro-LTTE lobby groups

  8. American motion is all about the the LLRC which is a project of Mahinda Rajapakse government. The LLRC report must be accepted by the Sri lankan Parliament first before the implementation. I think UNHRC proved itself a donkey organization. If SL parliament refuse to accept the LLRC report, the governemnt cannot implement it. USA or UN cannot force any one to implement it!

  9. All the Members of the sri lankan delegation did well in Geneva well done to you all i am really very proud of you all. we all know what’s the Americans and western want from sri lanka. now we have peaceful country we do not want to buy their weapons and ammunition so they are not having business. more over what is america doing in Pakistan,Afganistan killing inocent peoples day by day who has given them liecence to do so this is call human right violation’s why are other nation’s are solent about this.at least we sri lankan have the back bone to be against US and western nation. rest of the wolrd follow sri lanka.

  10. All Tamils all over the world should worship Mahinda Rajapakse for getting rid of fat Prabha. These clowns are shouting in Scarborough and in the Tamil ghettos of London, all the while, booking trips to Sri Lanka to see their relatives and recover their property. If fat Prabha was still around, these donkeys wouldn’t have a chance in hell of visiting their relatives and enjoying some R&R in beautiful Sri Lanka. While the Tamils took advantage of the situation created by fat Prabha to get out of the country and lick the backsides of the whites, the thambis stayed behind and are taking over Sri Lanka.

  11. Mahinda Samarasinghe, You are the best and top example of the 21st century worst ‘holocaust denial’ so far.

    “Testifying before the presidential commission investigating the murder, Dr. K. Manoharan, the father of the murdered medical student Rajihar, said Minister Samarasinghe offered(bribe) a house in Colombo and education in a better school in Colombo for Rajihar’s younger brother if Dr. Manoharan dropped his attempt to seek justice for the killing of his son”

    http://www.lankanewsweb.com/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=146:mahinda-samarasinghe-minister-protecting-human-rights-or-minister-protecting-human-rights-violators&catid=1:general&Itemid=29

    How can you talk about “Human Rights” Mr.Vocal warrior? When your guys throw Bombs and Shelling on civilians
    from ‘Clombo Glass house’ your eyes didn’t see? your ears didn’t hear? What a baby face you are?

  12. Dr. Bharath

    Putting all your eggs in the “Hague” basket?

    Criminals from Rwanda, Somalia, Serbia and Liberia are in Hague already. Soon from Sri Lanka too? Great.

    Now, shall we redouble our efforts on getting a few from the LTTE diaspora in the West to Hague as well? They have been funding Prabakaran’s War Crimes for 26 years.

    If successful, please focus on Bush, Blair and Natanyahu as well. Very good luck to you.

  13. @ Ben Hurling.

    “Now, shall we redouble our efforts on getting a few from the LTTE diaspora in the West to Hague as well? They have been funding Prabakaran’s War Crimes for 26 years. ”

    Is it possible for those SINhalese people. Never. just ask your chinese boss to give alms to your shit lanka.

  14. ” raj Mr.Samarasinghe the IC is fully aware of GOSL past misconduct towards the minority since 1915. Periodic pogroms, burning of Jaffna library, language discremination etc,etc,etc.”

    I think Amercants can relate to all this “misconducts” towards natives and minorities since the foundation….

    \It’s just that they can’t remember their more recent “liberation” conducts in Iraq, Afganistan, Nicaragua etc

  15. Congress party by voting for the American resolution has let LTTE assassinate Rajiv Gandhi for the second time. Hurrah

  16. I think UNHRC proved itself a donkey organization……. MS

    UNHRC may be looking for new faces to run the organization. Can you please forward your CV if you have some free time?

  17. Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe,

    Don’t try to hoodwink the international comunity. Isn’t 63 years enough for you and your predecessors to solve thamils’ issue for good?

    Now that you had learnt a lesson in UN Human Rights Council, please go back to your drawing board and try to do or talk something meanigful rathe bluff mainly in an international forum.

  18. Sign of things to come – a bunch of savages brought to heal. If this does not work, then sanctions, then B52s.

  19. M.Sivananthan says:

    ” If SL parliament refuse to accept the LLRC report, the governemnt cannot implement it. USA or UN cannot force any one to implement it!”

    USA and UN together with their allies can engineer a regime change if they chose to. The coalition of the willing is willing to collude for a collision and there may colateral damages.

    Even the Indians might consider joining the coalition with their Chappathi floor loaded war planes as they did in the late 1980s. The China and Russia will be happy to sit on the fence until the regime change is completed and both countries will share the spoils of regime change as they both did in Libya.

    There are precedent before and this can be a precedent after.

    Don’t worry the International Community will find some one else to police the vast Indian Ocean without MR & Gota, a responsibility VP took upon himself before 2009.

  20. Ben Hurling says:

    “Now, shall we redouble our efforts on getting a few from the LTTE diaspora in the West to Hague as well?”

    I love to do that could you buy me the ticket (no first class please, too expensive). Where do I collect the ticket? Also please remember to give me their contact details.

    Also you must redouble your efforts to find out what had happened to the vast majority of the hardcore real LTTE who surrendered to the armed forces. Bring them back and then hang them.

  21. Native Tamil says:

    “Minister Samarasinghe offered(bribe) a house in Colombo and education in a better school in Colombo for Rajihar’s younger brother if Dr. Manoharan dropped his attempt to seek justice for the killing of his son”

    The offer could not have been compensation for loss of his son but could be hush hush money for getting caught in the act.

Comments are closed.