Sri Lanka to contribute USD 5000 to UN Human Rights office

 

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva during its ongoing session, the Sri Lankan delegation welcomed the presentation by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the Annual Report of her Office for 2019.

“We appreciate the initiatives taken by the Office to provide technical and financial assistance to States upon request, and highlight the need for equitable geographical representation in the Office. In continuation of our commitment to constructive engagement, Sri Lanka will be making a voluntary contribution of USD 5000 to the Office of the High Commissioner in 2020,” the Foreign Ministry quoted the Sri Lankan delegation as saying.

Sri Lanka also noted the oral update provided to the Council by the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Tuesday, on COVID-19 related human rights implications in the world.

“We welcome the High Commissioner’s request for greater international solidarity in recovering from the pandemic, especially her call to recognize a future COVID-19 vaccine as ‘a global public good’, and the call for easing or suspension of sanctions that hinder pandemic-related relief,” Sri Lanka said.

As a country that has guaranteed free universal healthcare to all its people since 1953, through one of the highest per capita health expenditures in its region, Sri Lanka said it has been able to successfully contain the spread of COVID-19 through a balanced, multi-sectoral approach.

“Swift preventive measures at the national level, a well-networked, multi-stakeholder contact tracing mechanism, and a robust healthcare system geared towards screening / testing and hospitalized care, have helped to ensure zero social transmission of COVID-19 in the country since 1 May 2020. With only 11 deaths, the last being on 01 June 2020, the COVID-19 fatality rate in Sri Lanka stands at 0.54%, which is significantly lower than the global fatality rate of 4.85%, while the recovery rate in Sri Lanka stands at 83.59% higher than the global recovery rate of 54.77%,” the Sri Lankan delegation said.

Sri Lanka also noted that the approach adopted by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) in containing the pandemic, which has also been commended by the World Health Organisation, has been inclusive, non-discriminatory and holistic, providing foremost importance to safeguarding the health and safety of not only its people but foreign nationals in its territory.

The steps taken by the Government to curb the spread of the virus did not at any point involve resort to emergency measures that would have required derogations from the exercise of fundamental freedoms, but were strictly limited to minimum temporary restrictions on movement in the interest of public health, in accordance with the due process of law, with the aim of protecting right across the country all sections of society during this pandemic, which too were fully lifted on 28 June 2020, the Sri Lankan delegation said.

The delegation said the public health measures were accompanied by a series of policies aimed at advancing the economic and social rights of particularly the vulnerable segments in society, such as support for low income families, older persons, the differently-abled, day income earners, farmers and industries, with a view to building their resilience to the effects of the pandemic.

In this regard, Sri Lanka recalled the address by the President of Sri Lanka to the Summit of the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) on 4 May 2020, where the attention of world leaders was drawn to the unprecedented economic and debt-related challenges arising from COVID-19, and the consequent need for debt relief and financial stimulus for developing countries. We appreciate that the High Commissioner has also highlighted this need in her update by calling for debt relief and direct investments to fulfil the right to development in the post-pandemic world.

At the regional level, Sri Lanka said it has contributed USD 5 million to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to assist pandemic related challenges in the region.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic moves from one geographical region in the world to another, we are increasingly reminded of the stark inequalities that exist in our global landscape, which are often exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic. The United Nations system, including this Council, has a pivotal role in addressing these inequalities and in ensuring that no one is actually left behind in global efforts to overcome the COVID-19 crisis. Sri Lanka believes that genuine dialogue and cooperation among the international community is important to achieve this objective and we stand ready to share its experience and good practices with fellow nations and work in solidarity with them towards this end,” Sri Lanka said.

With regard to views expressed on Tuesday (30 June) by the core group on Resolution 30/1 on Sri Lanka (UK, Canada, Germany, North Macedonia and Montenegro), the Sri Lankan delegation said the Government has made clear that even as it withdraws from co-sponsorship of Resolution 30/1, it remains committed to achieve reconciliation, accountability and human rights within the framework of the Sri Lankan Constitution, through a domestically designed and executed process in line with the Government’s policy framework.

“We urge all parties once again to recognize the realities on the ground, and appreciate this approach of focusing on deliverable measures of reconciliation – which is backed by a people’s mandate and is in the interest of Sri Lanka and its people, instead of opting to continue with a framework driven externally that has failed to deliver genuine reconciliation for over four and half years,” Sri Lanka said.

In conclusion, Sri Lanka said it continues its engagement with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Human Rights mechanisms and work in close cooperation with the international community through capacity building and technical assistance in mutually agreed areas, in keeping with domestic priorities and policies. (Colombo Gazette)

1 COMMENT

  1. I read the partly hidden and one sided Political analysis of Dayan Jayatileke (DJ), published in Financial Times Newspaper in SL on 8th June 2020.

    I present this Political Analysis of Truthful and eye witnessed historical events in the Dominion Of Ceylon (DOC), from the year 1958. During this 62 years, about 80-90 of the present voter citizens were born. They were neither taught in schools nor educated through the Sinhalese media. The historical events were deliberately hidden by the Sinhalese anti Tamil racists governments in power for the past 70 years, with ultra racist agenda, to make the Sinhalese hate and not respect or love Tamil citizens

    DJ started with Bandaranayake (SWRD)-Chelvanayakam (SJV) Pact of 1958 (BC-Pact), the best pact ever done between the national leaders of Sinhalese and Tamils, made by two citizen friends, well educated in Britain, brought up with best teachings of Love of Jesus Christ, both at home as kids in SL and in the UK, in the midst of well mannered and good natured Royals.

    Realising the best thing happening for Peace, stability and prosperity in the island for ALL the citizens of DOC, the disgracefully defeated UNP, with only about 8 seats in the Parliament, gathered a few Sinhala extremist Buddhist Monks in Kandy, marched to Temple Trees, demanding the Prime Minister Bandaranayake, the head of state, to tear off the signed BC Pact..

    Instead of honouring the law of the land as PM and honouring SJV the other signatory, SWRD unilaterally destroyed the Pact because of the lawlessness of UNP. However, he said “ the country has lost a good chance for peace and amity. SJV responding to the lawlessness said “Only God can save Tamils”.

    An obvious switch over from blessing to curse started in the island. SWRD was shot dead by a robed Buddhist monk. The court decided the monk was guilty and hanged him to death.

    SJV as a strong, peace loving and determined Christian leader of Tamils, started a very peaceful non-violent Satyagraha movement, with firm discipline for 19 years from 1958 till 1977, facing persecution, house arrests and natural death yet never engaging in violence though Armed soldiers were first brought in 1965, under the false pretence of a Task Force TAFAII, still as DOC, to subjugate and oppress Tamils because they demanded Self Determination.

    The leadership of SJV for 19 years changed Tamils to be a better civilised people of good nature, forgiving one another with kind heart. Tamil nature attracted mankind in more than 79 countries in the world.

    Supernaturally, God revealed to SL and mankind on the 19th of June 2020, that Tamils are the most ancient people who lived in the world. Some archaeological findings in Tamil Nadu gave joy to all Tamils based on new Archaeological findings. Now, Tamil is accepted worldwide as the oldest existing language. Oxford dictionary last year added the Tamil word “Aiyo” to its words in the English Dictionary as an English word. English Bible also now uses the word “Aiyo”. The first inhabitants of SL were Tamils, from 3000 years BC praying to Sun God. It is proved by archaeology, Science and Geology that the greatest Tamil civilisation, in the world, covered under the sea between the North of SL and South India during Continental drift, which happened thousands of years ago, has revealed Truth, great Joy and Pride to the whole of India, and mankind.

    On the other hand, the Sinhalese by nature have been made by Sinhala Buddhist monks, Politicians and the media to be selfish, violent, anti Tamil, hate filled, dishonest, corrupt, uncivilised, stubborn and stiff necked people, unable to accept Tamil Historical Truth and recognise the Self determination of ancient Tamil Homeland in the North East of SL Mankind should intervene and do justice to undo the long injustice to Tamils for the past 70 years.

    The armed Sinhalese extremist government soldiers were Brutally murdering Tamils, throwing dead bodies on streets, bombed hospitals, churches and Temples using also British mercenary soldiers of Keeni-Meeni to terrorise Tamils. The deliberate silence by the Commonwealth and UN necessitated armed resistance by LTTE.

    The LTTE or Mr Pirabaharan did not hate the Sinhalese as wrongly portrayed by the Sinhala politicians and media in the South. LTTE attacks were against the racist Politicians who misled the Sinhalese masses and Government soldiers murdering and disappearing Tamil civilians. The Chief Buddhist monk at Batticaloa Buddhist Temple openly and fearlessly confessed recently that Mr Pirabaharan was very friendly and helpful to him.

    Soon, mankind from many countries will rise up against the entire Sinhalese in SL, like how the African Americans started in mid June 2020 a peoples Move, “Black life Matters” for the cruel killing of an African American, by the USA Police. Surely, the world will rise up with a move “Tamil Life matters”. demanding Justice by a Special World Court, for the cruelty of Tamils in “ Crime against Humanity” and “Tamil Genocide”, for killing more than 100,000 Tamil civilians by GSL and reported by the UNHRC.

    I have two documents to submit to such a court to seek Justice; a) A letter signed by SJV and delivered to the Tamil Diaspora before his passing away, expressing no hope for any internal solution but hoped only from the Tamils living abroad. b) A Sinhala Newspaper with large circulation in the South SL, depicting Mr Pirabaharan as a great Hero, with a big photo of him published during the latter part of 1980s with a view to prove that the Sinhalese politicians were abusive to the Sinhalese masses to start “Crime against Humanity and ”Tamil Genocide”.

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