Sri Lanka country statement at UNHRC had President’s backing

The country statement made on behalf of Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last week had the backing of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Former Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told Parliament today that the original statement was amended following talks with the President before it was presented to the UN Human Rights Council.

Samarasinghe said that Sri Lanka was not expected to send a delegation to Geneva to attend the session but at the last minute the President decided to send a team to respond to the report on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The former Minister said that Sri Lanka’s response was finalized after discussions held with the President and Prime Minister.

He said that the statement made by Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana was made on behalf of the country and that it was a good statement.

Samarasinghe said that Sri Lanka was victorious in Geneva by managing to secure another two years to show progress on the human rights issue.

However, Samarasinghe said that parts of the text in the draft Resolution which Sri Lanka cosponsored could not be accepted, especially the part which welcomed the report on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. (Colombo Gazette)

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