by Zacki Jabbar
Pointing out that UN resolutions were not binding on a sovereign nation, the government said yesterday that neither the UN Human Rights Council nor the international community had demanded that Sri Lanka adopt a federal solution to resolve its ethnic issue.
Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva, addressing a news conference at the Information Department in Colombo, said that the latest report on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein, had no relevance whatsoever to what the government was doing at the ongoing 34th UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva.
A UN resolution had no impact on a sovereign nation, he note adding that as Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had said that there were many detours, but the destination remained the same in relation to UN Resolution 30/1 on accountability issues arising out of the war.
“There is a big difference between Resolution 30/1 and Zeid bin Ra’ad al-Hussein’s report, which was a technical rollover,” de Silva observed.
He said that the government was studying Hussein’s report and would respond accordingly after consultations with all concerned including the countries that Co-Sponsored Resolution 30/1.
Responding to a question, the Deputy Minister said that neither the UNHRC nor the international community had called for a federal solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic issue.
Emphasising that the government had adopted a policy of zero tolerance with regard to human rights violations including torture by investigative authorities, he said that much of Resolution 30/1 had been implemented.