Government awaits final US draft

The government says it is awaiting the final draft of the US resolution scheduled to be tabled at the UN Human Rights Council.

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that once the final draft is tabled then the other countries will decide on their stand on the vote on the resolution.

He also cautioned of attempts to introduce the resolution with a malicious agenda and not over Sri Lanka’s human rights record.

As a government, Minister Samarasinghe said, Sri Lanka will do whats best for its people when the resolution is tabled.

He also said that government was satisfied with the outcome of the adopting of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report on Sri Lanka yesterday.

The Minister said that while some countries had raised concerns before the report was adopted, it was still passed unanimously.

The 47 member states of the United National Human Rights Council unanimously adopted the report presented by the UPR Working Group.

Samarasinghe, while making a statement at th Council yesterday had assured that Sri Lanka will continue its transparent, proactive and constructive engagement with the Human Rights Council and keep Member and Observer States informed of further developments in Sri Lanka in the field of promotion and protection of human rights.

The United States, in a statement just before the UPR report was adopted, had said it welcomed the Government’s statement of its intention to accept recommendations to combat gender-based violence, to carry out an independent and credible investigation into the allegations of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, and to strengthen the independence of institutions, including the Human Rights Commission, Police Commission, and Election Commission.

However the US said it was disappointed that the Government rejected all UPR recommendations from States that called upon it to implement the LLRC recommendations.

Further, it said the Sri Lankan delegation attempted to reframe Sri Lanka’s human rights commitments in terms of the government’s National Plan of Action, which does not address the broad spectrum of recommendations put forward by the LLRC report, and by lobbying other delegations to revise their UPR recommendations to exclude reference to the LLRC report after they had been orally presented. (Colombo Gazette)