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Sri Lanka objects to UN Human Rights Council resolution

Source: PTI
February 27, 2013 22:07 IST
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Sri Lanka on Wednesday stoutly opposed a United States sponsored resolution coming up against the country at the ongoing UN Human Rights Council, terming it as "unfair and unjust".

Addressing the UN rights sessions in Geneva, Sri Lanka's Human Rights Envoy and Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the international community had fallen prey to a vicious disinformation campaign run by the LTTE remnants now domiciled in Western nations.

"We are therefore firmly of the view that this council should not embark upon or encourage either debate on or any country specific resolution by virtue of a selective process which would run counter to the founding principles of the council," Samarasinghe said.

His address came ahead of the second successive resolution in as many years against the island nation at the UN human rights forum to be moved next month.

Samarasinghe also fired a broadside against the UN High Commissioner Navaneetham Pillai for her remarks made at the opening of the sessions on Monday wherein she cited rights abuses in Sri Lanka.

"Her frequent comments could well have the effect of influencing delegations", Samarasinghe said.

Samarasinghe said Sri Lanka aimed to take the major reconciliation steps such as convening a parliamentary select committee and holding of the northern provincial council election within this year.

Sri Lanka has the task to convince some 24 nations, including India, who had voted against them at last year's resolution.

The last year's resolution was carried with only 15 countries voting in favour of Sri Lanka while 8 countries abstained.

Deeply concerned about allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Sri Lanka, the US last week said it plans to introduce its own resolution on the issue at the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.

"We continue to be deeply concerned by allegations of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights min Sri Lanka," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters on February 20.

Sri Lankan forces had crushed Tamil rebels in May 2009 after nearly three decades of brutal fighting. The conflict claimed up to 1,00,000 lives, according to UN estimates, and both sides are accused of war crimes.

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