A statement by the Government to the Council says some references in the report are inaccurate and completely misrepresentative of reality in respect of society and societal formation or structures in Sri Lanka.
The Government notes that the references to caste in paragraph 35 of her report which states that Sinhala, Sri Lanka Tamil and Indian Tamil are categories of caste is completely erroneous.
“Moreover, it is completely incorrect to state that people in Sri Lanka are under pressure to follow caste based employment. Untouchability, as stated in the report is not a feature one would find in Sri Lankan society at all. The term “Dalit” has no relevance whatsoever in the context of Sri Lanka. There is no community or caste identified by such nomenclature in Sri Lanka. As pointed out in Paragraph 110 of the Report, the Constitution of Sri Lanka in Article 12(2) specifically prohibits discrimination based on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds,” the Government said.
The Government said it is disappointed that such incorrect, inaccurate and misleading references have been made to Sri Lanka in an important Report of this nature presented to the Council.
“Especially in the context of factually incorrect reference to Sri Lanka in the Report, we welcome the visit of the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues to Sri Lanka, as such a visit will certainly enable the Special Rapporteur to engage with all concerned in my country to obtain the factual position in this regard and accurate information which will clarify and clear misconceptions pertaining to the areas mentioned in this report,” the Government added.
Sri Lanka says is looks forward to being able to seek the expert advice of the Special Rapporteur on any outstanding issues or issues of concern during the visit. (Colombo Gazette)