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Targeting SL hurts fight against terrorism: Dinesh to UNHRC

Calling the motives of countries calling for the prosecution of Sri Lanka hypocritical, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena stressed to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that the continuous targeting of our nation only results in a significant loss of morale in the ongoing fight against terrorism.

Gunawardena made this comment addressing the 46th United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session yesterday (23) at the sixth meeting of the “High-level segment”, where he also called upon UNHRC member states to stand by Sri Lanka and reject any adverse resolutions.

He added that the continued targeting of Sri Lanka sends a discouraging message to sovereign states in the Global South.

Tomorrow (25), the United Nations High Commissioner for the UNHRC Michelle Bachelet’s report on Sri Lanka is scheduled to be discussed. The report raised serious concerns regarding Sri Lanka’s human rights situation, both in the final stage of the war in 2009 as well as more recent incidents such as the mandatory cremation policy adopted by the Government. The Government responded to the report by citing inaccuracies in the report and stating that Bachelet went beyond her given mandate.

 

On Monday (22), Bachelet delivered her opening remarks at the session where she laid special emphasis on the realities of discrimination and inequality that the pandemic has revealed.

“Illegitimate restrictions on public freedom, the overreach of emergency powers, and unnecessary or excessive use of force to deter public participation in decision-making,” she said.

The Core Group of Countries for Sri Lanka (the UK, Canada, Germany, Montenegro, and North Macedonia) are expected to submit a resolution on the country. Although the Government initially considered co-sponsoring a resolution with the Core Group of Countries for Sri Lanka, it was later learnt by The Morning that the expectations of the Core Group were not met by the government’s negotiations.

The 46th UNHRC Regular Session, held virtually this year due to travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, will continue until 23 March.