Lanka, US hold separate briefings on resolution

Sri Lanka and the United States held separate informal meetings at the UN Human Rights Council premises yesterday (Wednesday) on the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka.
Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe was to brief the Asian Group last afternoon on the progress made in Sri Lanka by the government on addressing post war issues.
The Permanent Mission of Jordan was hosting the meeting on behalf of the Asian Group attending the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council.
Meanwhile in a separate room, the US delegation led by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain, held a meeting with representatives from other countries where she spoke on the resolution submitted on Sri Lanka.
Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is to present the formal response to the US resolution at the UNHRC tomorrow (Friday).
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha had said in a statement last Friday that he had already conveyed to Ambassador Donahoe that the government rejects entirely the premise on which the resolution is based, and as has been its consistent position, does not intend negotiating with the US on the text.
He said that the pith and substance of resolution 19/2 was to mandate the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to provide in consultation with, and with the concurrence of the Sri Lankan government, advice and technical assistance, and for the OHCHR to report to the Council on the nature of the assistance provided on the implementation of Sri Lanka’s domestic reconciliation mechanism, the LLRC.
The government has already noted that through the OHCHR Report the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has gone beyond her mandate in making recommendations which are arbitrary, highly intrusive and of a politicized nature, which have not given due regard or recognition to the work of Sri Lanka’s ongoing mechanism of reconciliation through the National Action Plan on the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC.
Aryasinha said that in the new US draft resolution substantive provisions have been introduced which are totally unrelated to the mandate given in the US resolution 19/2, and steers completely away from the spirit and substance of 19/2 into a new realm. (Colombo Gazette)