Government rejects allegations raised by the clergy

The government has strongly rejected allegations raised by a group of clergy who have written to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) calling for a strong and action oriented resolution in relation to accountability, reconciliation and human rights in the island nation.

The letter signed by the Bishop of Mannar and 132 members of the clergy from the North and East, says the new resolution should go beyond the resolution adopted at the 19th session of the Council.

“If any indivitual has a problem, they should raise the issue with the government. We have always maintained a strong dialogue with all religions including the Bishop of Mannar so we are dissapointed at the allegations raised in the letter,” Deputy External Affairs Minister Neomal Perera said.

Perera further noted that a letter written to the UN Human Rights Council just days before the island is going to face a US sponsored procedural resolution at the Geneva sessions, will have some impact if people do not know the actual ground situation.

“The Sri Lankan government has faced several allegations but the ground situation is very different. Therefore the letter will have some impact if people do not know the actual ground situation,” Perera said.

The clergy, in their letter noted that they had witnessed continuing ignorance and violations of the key LLRC recommendations, related to political solution to the ethnic conflict, release of political prisoners, appointment of a Commissioner to look into disappearances, reparations, release of land occupied illegally by the military and restrictions on media. (Colombo Gazette)

Report by Jamila Najmuddin