US hypocrisy and double standards will undermine Council’s legitimacy, warns Ambassador Kunanayakam

In a persuasive right of reply to the Statement made by U.S Under Secretary of State, Maria Otero, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative Tamara Kunanayakam warned the Human Rights Council that the hypocrisy and double standards displayed by the United States in its treatment of countries such as Sri Lanka would, if encouraged, gravely affect the credibility of the Council and undermine its legitimacy. 

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Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe addresses the 19th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva


Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe reminds the Human Rights Council to ensure adherence to cardinal postulates of universality, objectivity and non-selectivity in the consideration of issues in the promotion and protection of human rights.


Hon Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council with a powerful message during the High-Level segment of the 19th Session, in Geneva. Minister Samarasinghe, the Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights and Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation, outlined the effective developments taking place within Sri Lanka, and reiterated the Government’s commitment toward the reconciliation process. While emphasising the fact that ‘action initiated in the promotion and protection of human rights in a member State, must have the consent of that State and be based on the principles of cooperation and genuine dialogue’, he further went on to say, that today, there were good examples of instances where this cardinal principle had been violated, and ‘where even the application of a multiplication of special initiatives has nevertheless failed to establish peace’. He rightly pointed out that this had only contributed to exacerbating and at times externalising conflict situations.

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Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam exposes U.S manoeuvres to deceive the Human Rights Council


Given below is the text of a communication issued today, by the Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam, which rejects a misleading and unethical communication sent out to Missions in Geneva by the Permanent Mission of the United States, and exposes manoeuvres to deceive the Human Rights Council.

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Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam presents credentials to Pope Benedict XVI

Credential -Holy See - Tamara Kunanayakam-1


Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam, who is concurrently accredited to the Holy See, presented her credentials to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI at a ceremony in the Vatican on 15th December 2011, in the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State of the Holy See, and other high officials of the Vatican.
 
Non-resident Ambassadors from the following 10 countries also presented their credentials at the ceremony: Pakistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Guinea Bissau, Switzerland, Burundi, Mozambique, Kyrgyzstan, Andorra, and Burkina Faso.

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Ambassador Kunanayakam cautions against the setting of dangerous precedents by the HRC


Statement by the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka:Special Session of the Human Rights Council, 02nd December 2011 Human Rights Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic


Delivered by: H.E. Tamara Kunanayakam, Amabassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and other International Organizations


Madam President, 

Sri Lanka wishes to reiterate its position articulated at the 17th Special Session of the Council on the Human Rights Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, that no action be initiated by the Council in contravention of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and the Declaration of Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, adopted by the UN General Assembly resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970.   

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There is no single model of development valid for all peoples, at all times-Ambassador Kunanayakam


Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam affirms:” There is no single model of development valid for all peoples, at all times”


The right to development is a universal and inalienable human right, an integral part of our human heritage, which is as much a prerogative of States as it is of individuals. 


Speaking at an event to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Declaration of the Right to Development organized by the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organisation of Islamic Countries and the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam, as Chairperson/Rapporteur of the United Nations Working Group on the Right to Development, reminded the international community that the Declaration recognizes “the human person, both individually and collectively, as the central subject of development” and that “there is no single model of development valid for all peoples, at all times. The realization of the right of peoples and States to determine their own economic, political, social and cultural systems, without externally imposed conditionalities, is a prerequisite for the realization of all other human rights”.

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47TH SESSION OF THE UN COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE - STATEMENT BY THE LEADER OF THE DELEGATION OF SL

47th Session of the UN Committee Against Torture Consideration of the Combined 3rd and 4th Periodic Reports on Sri Lanka Introductory Statement by the Leader of the Delegation of Sri Lanka


Mr. Mohan Pieris, President’s Counsel, Former Attorney General, Senior Legal Advisor to the Cabinet on Legal Affairs Geneva, 8th November, 2011


Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Members of the Committee,    


My delegation and I are pleased to be associated with the examination of Sri Lanka’s combined 3rd and 4th periodic Report under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment covering a period which has presented the Government and people with unprecedented challenges. A thirty-year terrorist conflict compelled the State to assume, during all of those years, an expanded and formidable task of maintaining national security, law and order. In these challenging years, the State also pursued an ambitious national development Plan with an emphasis on economic and infrastructure development that sought to enhance the quality of life of its people. The pursuit of peace saw the Government engaging in negotiations with a terrorist movement acknowledged as the most ruthless in the world, which over time lost its credibility as one which had a sincere desire for peace.  Finally, in May 2009, terrorism was defeated and the task of rebuilding a fractured nation commenced. Sri Lanka’s Report is presented highlighting the manner in which its obligations under the Convention were sought to be honored during this challenging period.

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Ambassador Kunanayakam tells HRC the trend of ‘Might is Right’ should be discouraged at all costs

Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam tells the Human Rights Council that the trend of ‘Might is Right’ needs to be discouraged at all costs

Statement Delivered by Ambassador H.E Tamara Kunanayakam, regarding the deferral of the Draft Resolution ‘Transparency in Funding and Staffing of the OHCHR’, during the final day of the 18th Session of the Human Rights Council.

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Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam Elected Vice Chair of 58th Session of UNCTAD’S TDB

Tamara Kunanayakam, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, has been elected as a Vice Chair representing the Asia Group of the Trade and Development Board (TDB) of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) at its 58th Session held 12 – 28 September 2011 in Geneva.

 

 

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Response of the delegation of Sri Lanka to comments made during the General Debate under Item 4

Delivered by H. E. Ms. Tamara Kunanayakam, Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations 

Mr. President,  

The Delegation of Sri Lanka wishes to respond to the references made to Sri Lanka by certain delegations of the Western Group.

To those who question the credibility and independence of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, I wish to reiterate that we cannot accept such a priori judgements of our domestic mechanism even before it has had the chance to complete its work and make its findings public. 

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HRC Agenda Item2:Ambassador of Sri Lanka responds to High Commissioner Pillay's remarks on Sri Lanka

Statement by H.E. Tamara Kunanayakam,Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka During the General Debate under Item 2 at the 18th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council 12 September 2011, Geneva

Madam President, 

You must note, however unpalatable it may be to some, that terrorism has not been allowed to rear its ugly head since 2009, in Sri Lanka.  We, like many other like-minded nations, are not willing to create nurseries for terrorists wherever they may be. 

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Minister Samarasinghe addresses the 18th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva,

Statement by Hon Mahinda Samarasinghe, M.P,Minister of Plantation Industries and Special Envoy of H.E. the President of Sri Lanka on Human Rights and Head of Sri Lanka Delegation at the 18th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council 12 September 2011,Geneva  

Madam President,

It is my privilege to once again address this august body as head of the Sri Lanka delegation. We come here as always,  Madam President, to share with the members of this Council and the other representatives of the community of nations, our experiences in overcoming the several challenges we face in the present era – an era that offers a fresh hope of a new Sri Lanka. The dawn of this new era coincided with the end of the armed conflict in 2009 just over 2 years ago. In that time, Sri Lanka, has made considerable – some may call it astounding – progress in addressing the many challenges that nearly 30 years of conflict poses to a nation, her Government and people.

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Sri Lanka Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam responds to media queries on the AI Report on the LLRC

“Pre-judgment of the Commission’s outcome is unacceptable and unwarranted”: Response by H.E. Tamara Kunanayakam, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, to media queries on the Amnesty International Report on the LLRC  

Claims by Amnesty International (AI) that they have analyzed the work of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) is questionable when the final report of the LLRC is due only on 15 November 2011. It is recalled that AI in a demonstration of bad faith, refused an invitation from the LLRC in October 2010, to testify before the Commission. This would have provided an opportunity to AI to obtain first hand knowledge of the workings of the LLRC.

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Presentation of credentials of Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam

Credential - Ms. Kunanayakam 2
H.E. Ms. Tamara Kunanayakam presented her credentials to H.E. Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Geneva on the 9th of August 2011, accrediting her as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland.

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Statements made by Delegation of Sri Lanka during the 17th Session of Human Rights Council, 30 May 2011 – 17 June 2011 in Geneva

• Statement by Her Excellency Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Geneva, to the statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay on 30 May 2011

Statement By Hon. Mohan Pieris, Attorney-General of Sri Lanka during the Interactive Dialogue on the Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, 31 May 2011


Statement by Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, M.P., Minister of Plantation Industries, Special Envoy of His Excellency the President on human rights, and Head of Sri Lanka delegation at the 17th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, 30 May 2011

 

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Hon. Mahinda Samarasingha addresses the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva,

Mr President
Excellencies
Madam High Commissioner
Distinguished delegates

I wish to commend the constructive manner in which you, Mr President, have been conducting the work of the Human Rights Council. Our deliberations have been guided by you with sagacity and sensitivity, aimed at achieving the objectives of our agenda in a fair and equitable manner. You have the fullest cooperation and support of my delegation for the work of the Council.

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Statement by H.E. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Geneva on the Statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay on 30 May 2011

Mr. President,

My delegation is perplexed to note the High Commissioner’s reference as stated, to the report of the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka. It is widely known that the said report was borne outside of an intergovernmental process. It is a report which was initiated solely by the UNSG to advise himself on the modalities, applicable international standards and comparative experience relevant to an accountability process in respect to the conflict in Sri Lanka. It is extremely unfortunate, Mr President, that the High Commissioner has thought fit to refer to it in her report to the 17th Session of the HRC, a document which was compiled by a Panel to advise the SG, that too at his own request, and well exceeding its mandate, thereby bringing into question her objectivity. In this context, the High Commissioner has resorted to drawing on recommendations culminating from a report of a non intergovernmental process, which also has no official status in the UN system. This Council would agree that at no point has it sought this so called information referred to by the High Commissioner.

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Ambassador of Sri Lanka responds to High Commissioner Pillay's remarks on Sri Lanka at the UN

Statement by H.E. Kshenuka Senewiratne, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Geneva on the Statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay on 30 May 2011  

Mr. President,

 My delegation is perplexed to note the High Commissioner’s reference as stated, to the report of the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka.  It is widely known that the said report was borne outside of an intergovernmental process.  It is a report which was initiated solely by the UNSG to advise himself on the modalities, applicable international standards and comparative experience relevant to an accountability process in respect to the conflict in Sri Lanka.  It is extremely unfortunate, Mr President, that the High Commissioner has thought fit to refer to it in her report to the 17th Session of the HRC, a document which was compiled by a Panel to advise the SG, that too at his own request, and well exceeding its mandate, thereby bringing into question her objectivity. In this context, the High Commissioner has resorted to drawing on recommendations culminating from a report of a non intergovernmental process, which also has no official status in the UN system.  This Council would agree that at no point has it sought this so called information referred to by the High Commissioner.

Mr. President, 

Further the High Commissioner unbecomingly deems it appropriate to call for action on the recommendations of the said report which are based on unverified information and also un-sourced, and would remain so for the next 20 years. Infact the Report itself states that the facts are unsubstantiated, whereas the information being processed by Sri Lanka’s domestic mechanism, has been collected through the conduct of open and transparent hearings, including from the former theatre of conflict, which would enable a careful evaluation of such material to culminate in considered conclusions. 

Mr. President, 

The High Commissioner continues with a seeming preoccupation of calling for the establishment of an international monitoring mechanism, which also has been recommended in the report based on unverified information, and if adhered to will call into question, the professionalism and independence of the Council. The High Commissioner through her references in the statement seems to attempt to legitimise an internal document by seeking to push it into an intergovernmental body, ignoring all relevant rules of procedure. This, Mr President, would establish a dangerous precedent and certainly undermine the credibility and objectives of this august body. We call upon the member states of the World Body to unite against such possible machinations, by disallowing negative precedents to become concretised. It may wrongly be us today and one of you tomorrow. 

Mr. President, 

In addition, the High Commissioner has prejudged the ability of the domestic mechanism even before it has concluded by pledging her full support to an international mechanism being established to monitor national investigations. The bona fides of her position in this regard comes into question, as the accepted practice is to provide the domestic processes adequate time and exhaust all available domestic recourse, prior to resorting to any international mechanism.  This basic requirement of the need to give the domestic mechanism space, time and opportunity should be known by the High Commissioner, unless she wishes to ignore it for a reason of her own choice.  The continued demonstrable lack of objectivity and impropriety on the part of the High Commissioner does not augur well on the work of her office in constructive engagement with the Government of Sri Lanka which we have consistently sought through our interactions. The unrelenting criticism, constant negativity in approach and the unwillingness to recognize the enormous strides made by the GoSL are counterproductive to the process of engagement, which has been pursued so actively by the Government with the High Commissioner. 

Mr. President, 

Unfortunately the High Commissioner’s statement has also given the cue for similar references by some countries. We say to them that while taking cognisance of our aforesaid position, the policies of the GoSL are solely based on ensuring the welfare of its people and therefore is well aware of its responsibilities. Therefore it is time for genuine, demonstrable constructive engagement by those countries with the Government of Sri Lanka. We can only seek to look forward to the dawn of a better era of engagement with them and the High Commissioner, free from prejudice.

 Thank you.

2600th Anniversary of Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi celebrated at the United Nations in Geneva

 

2600 s-2

The Government of Sri Lanka has consistently espoused and been guided by the gentle tenets of Buddhism, which emphasizes Karuna, Metta, Muditha and Upeksha meaning  -kindness, loving compassion, thoughtfulness and equanimity said Kshenuka Senewiratne addressing a large international gathering at the commemoration of the  2600th Anniversary of Sri Sambuddhathva Jayanthi, which was celebrated at the United Nations in Geneva on the 11th May 2011. This commemorative event was organized by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva, at the United Nations Assembly Hall, which is considered a most prestigious venue. This occasion was also graced by Hon. Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Disaster Management and Mr. Kassym Jomart Tokayev, United Nations Under-Secretary General and the newly appointed Director General of the United Nations Office in Geneva, who is the former Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan.

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Statements made by Delegation of Sri Lanka during the 16th Session of Human Rights Council, 28 February 2011 – 25 March 2011 in Geneva

Statement by Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, M.P., Minister of Plantation Industries, Special Envoy of His Excellency the President on human rights, and Head of Sri Lanka delegation at the 16th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, 28 February 2011

Statement by Hon. Mohan Peiris, Attorney-General of Sri Lanka during the Interactive Dialogue on High Commissioner’s annual report - 16th Session of the Human Rights Council, 3 March 2011
 

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Statements made by Delegation of Sri Lanka during the 15th Session of Human Rights Council, 13 September 2010 – 01 October 2010 in Geneva

Statement by Hon. Mohan Peiris, Attorney-General of Sri Lanka during the general debate under Item 2 of the 15th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, 13 September 2010


Statement by Hon. Mohan Peiris, Attorney-General of Sri Lanka exercising the Right of Reply during the general debate under Item 4 of the 15th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, 17 September 2010


Statement of the delegation of Sri Lanka at the panel discussion on elimination of discrimination against women, Human Rights Council, 20 September 2010

Statements made by Delegation of Sri Lanka during the 14th Session of Human Rights Council, 31 May 2010 – 18 June 2010 in Geneva

Statement made By Hon. Mohan Peiris, Attorney-General, during the General Debate on the annual report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: 31 May 2010


Right of Reply by Delegation of Sri Lanka under Item 2: Annual Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the office of the High Commissioner


Statement of Sri Lanka at the general debate on the attack by Israeli security forces on the flotilla of Humanitarian aid to the Gaza:1 June 2010

 

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Minister of Labour Relations and Productivity Promotions addresses 99th Session of the ILC

International Labour Organization 99th Session of the International Labour Conference address by Hon Gamini Lokuge Minister of Labour Relations and Productivity Promotions Sri Lanka on 10th June 2010 Geneva


Mr. President

On behalf of the government and the delegation of Sri Lanka, let me congratulate you and the Vice Presidents on your election to preside over the 99th session of the International Labour Conference.

 

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Statements made by Delegation of Sri Lanka during the 13th Session of Human Rights Council: 01 March 2010 – 26 March 2010 in Geneva

 

 ·      Statement by Hon. Mohan Peiris, Attorney-General of Sri Lanka during the Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights 4 March 2010


  ·      Statement by H.E. Mrs. Kshenuka Seneviratne, Ambassador of Sri Lanka during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteurs on Counter Terrorism and Torture - 8 March 2010

 

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Minister Samarasinghe Briefs High Commissioner for Human Rights,Country Missions to the UN in Geneva

Navipillay briefed-MS 10 feb 2010
Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe, met with Navanetham Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, at the Palais Wilson in Geneva on Tuesday (09). The Minister, who was accompanied by Attorney General Mohan Peiris, PC, and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN at Geneva, Ambassador Kshenuka Senewiratne, briefed High Commissioner Pillay, on the progress achieved in developing a National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (NAP) in Sri Lanka. Noting that the NAP was the outcome of a pledge made in 2008 at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council, he outlined the process to date and also the next steps contemplated towards finalization of the first draft Action Plan.

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