Sri Lanka rejected High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s report yesterday, saying it had “unjustifiably” broadened its scope and mandate, to include issues of governance that are essentially domestic for any sovereign country.
Responding as the country concerned to Bachelet’s oral statement on her report to the UNHRC on Sri Lanka’s progress on accountability and reconciliation, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunewardena said the report emanates from UNHRC resolutions 30/1 and 40/1 from which the Government has announced its withdrawal of co-sponsorship.
Addressing the council virtually, Minister Gunewardena said the Government categorically rejected the conclusions and recommendations in the High Commissioner’s Report.
“The trajectory that has emerged about the recommendations and conclusions reflects the preconceived, politicised and prejudicial agenda which certain elements have relentlessly pursued against Sri Lanka. These recommendations are based on ill-founded allegations,” the Foreign Minister charged.
Gunewardena said the call for asset freezes, travel bans, references to the ICC and the exercise of universal jurisdiction by individual states by Bachelet was based on evidence that the Government had been denied access to up to date.
The Foreign Minister added that it was regrettable that the High Commissioners Office published its Report, accompanied by an unprecedented propaganda campaign on the report. He charged that the OHCHR had refused to publish our Comments on the report as an addendum.
“This has deprived Sri Lanka and members of equal visibility of Sri Lanka’s views on the report,” Gunewardena said.
“The contents of the Report which have been drawn from the said disputed reports are rife with factual inaccuracies that appear to equate atrocities committed by the LTTE, a terrorist organisation proscribed internationally, with legitimate action taken by the government to safeguard the territorial integrity of the country and the right to life of our people,” the Minister charged.
The Government of Sri Lanka regretted the disproportionate attention drawn to Sri Lanka by the UNHRC, he added, saying it was driven by political motivations. “Sri Lanka calls upon the members of this Council that any resolution which is based on this Report, be rejected by the Council and be brought to a closure,” Gunewardena said.