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Optimistic about positive response in Geneva to SL’s response: Sarath Weerasekara

By Tissa Ravindra Perera

Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara said he hopes Sri Lanka’s response to the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights would receive positive feedback in Geneva.

In an interview with Aruna, the minister said the country will get positive feedback at Geneva because Sri Lanka has provided proper answers.

He said the decision taken by the government to withdraw from co-sponsoring the UN resolution was a wise move. “Now we can provide answers in a free manner. That’s what we are doing right now,” he said.

“The former government failed to provide answers to the issues raised by the UN. The decision to withdraw from co-sponsorship of the UN Resolution helped us. The UNHRC (UN Human Rights Council) can bring in resolutions but we are not binding to them. We had a responsibility because we were cosponsoring it but not anymore. We can argue about accusations now,” he said.

If there’s any sanctions, the Minister said they should come from the UN Security Council. “We have Russia and China with us at the Security Council. We won’t simply accept crimes we didn’t commit out of fear of sanctions,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the UNHRC or any external force cannot challenge the domestic appointment made by the President of Sri Lanka.

The Minister was referring to a concern raised in the UN report on appointing him, a former navy officer, as the National Security Minister and other appointments of former military officers.