PM to address parliament

Prime Minister D.M Jayaratne is to address parliament tomorrow (Friday) on the repercussions of the UN Human Rights Council vote on Sri Lanka, government sources told Colombo Gazette.

In his address to parliament, the Premier is expected to spell out steps the government will take as a result of the vote going against Sri Lanka.

He is also expected to seek the support of the opposition to prevent any moves by the international community to interfere in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs.

Meanwhile Amnesty International said that the UN Human Rights Council resolution calling on Sri Lanka to end longstanding impunity for human rights abuses is a vital step forward for the country and for international justice.

The resolution was adopted today in Geneva, with 24 nations voting in favour, 15 against, and 8 abstaining.

“This is a positive step forward for Sri Lankans, and an opportunity to end the longstanding impunity for human rights violations that have marked the country for decades,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.

“The Sri Lankan government’s failure to provide justice and protect human rights, even after it defeated the LTTE, has forced the international community to act by offering assistance to improve the dire situation in the country.

In the run up to the vote there were numerous reports of threatening behaviour against Sri Lankan human rights defenders. Amnesty International called on the government of Sri Lanka to stop fostering hostility against the UN and publicly condemn the sustained attacks on human rights advocates.  (Colombo Gazette)