|Sri Lanka successfully concludes participation in the 10th session of the UN Human Rights Council|
|Friday, 27 March 2009|
The Sri Lankan delegation led by Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights successfully participated in the tenth session of the UN Human Rights Council which concluded its 4-week long session today, 27 March 2009, in Geneva. The Sri Lankan delegation’s proactive engagement with all stakeholders ensured that heavy pro-LTTE lobbying as well as a two-pronged attempt by a few EU members to secure a statement in the Council on the situation in Sri Lanka by the High Commissioner for Human Rights or the Council’s President, proved abortive.
During the sessions, the Sri Lankan delegation successfully countered adverse references made to the Sri Lanka situation made by a few delegations representing certain developed Western countries and several non-governmental organizations, as well as by several pro-LTTE activists who were present at the UN, lobbying heavily against ongoing military operations in the Wanni. During both formal presentations and informal interactions, the Sri Lankan delegation clearly emphasized to other delegations that ongoing military operations were being carried out by the security forces in accordance with norms of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and that such actions were necessary to eliminate terrorism and protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka.
Meeting with the African Group
H.E. Dr Dayan Jayatilleka with the President of
UN General Assembly, Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann
The delegation that accompanied Hon. Minister during the High Level Segment of the Council comprised of H.E Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, Hon. Mohan Peiris, P.C., Attorney-General, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, and Dr. Rohan Perera, P.C. Deputy Solicitor-General Mr. Yasantha Kodagoda subsequently replaced the Attorney-General.
Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe addressed the High Level Segment on the opening day of the Council on March 2 and conducted a series of bilateral, regional and cross regional consultations at Ministerial level. In addition, the Mission provided other Ambassadors several opportunities to engage with the delegation in frank and open discussions, through a number of events including a working breakfast, a lunch and a dinner at which a cross section of ambassadors covering all Regional Groups of the Council were briefed on the current situation in Sri Lanka. . Separate meetings were also organized for Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe and his delegation to brief the Asian, African, Latin American and Eastern European Groups of the Council and major cross-regional groups such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe and his delegation also held bilateral consultations with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navanethem Pillay, President of the Human Rights Council H.E Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibi, Minister for Legal and Parliamentary Councils of Egypt H.E Dr. Mufid Shehab, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights of France H.E Mrs. Rama Yade, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran H.E Manouchehr Mottaki, Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E Dr. Per Stig Moller, the UN High-Commissioner for Refugees Mr. Antonio Guterres, the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation H.E. Mr. Alexander V. Yakovenko, Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, Mr. Gunter Nooke, the Vice- Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea Hon. Mr. Shin Kak-Soo, the Permanent Under Secretary of foreign Affairs of Sweden Hon. Mr. Frank Belfrage, the Minister for the UN and Human Rights of the United Kingdom Hon. Lord Mark Malloch Brown, the Foreign Minister of South Africa, Hon. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Ambassador of China H.E. Mr. Li Baodong, and the Canadian Ambassador H.E. Marius Grinius.
The Hon. Minister and the Sri Lankan delegation also briefed Members on the humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka and presented the Common Humanitarian Action Plan on Sri Lanka, during a Member States Briefing organized by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva, and attended by a large number of States, UN agencies, humanitarian organizations and INGOs.
During the Council Sessions, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, successfully refuted many false and unsubstantiated allegations on Sri Lanka’s human rights and humanitarian situation, conveying Sri Lanka’s position through a number of statements, including rights of reply as appropriate, during the consideration of several agenda items, including the item that deals with human rights situations that require Council’s attention. He also addressed the Council during the interactive dialogues with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Rapporteurs on counter terrorism, torture, freedom of religion and belief, human rights defenders, Working Group on Disappearances, Special Representative of the UNSG on IDPs, and the Special Advisor on the prevention of genocide. Further exercising Sri Lanka’s right of reply under the agenda items dealing with human rights situations that require Council’s attention and with building and technical cooperation, Deputy Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda made several statements refuting many fabricated allegations on the current situation in Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, made a statement to the Council in his capacity as the Chairperson/Rapporteur of the Inter-Governmental Working Group on Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action against Racism, Racial discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, when the Working Group’s report was taken up for discussion at the Council.
The Sri Lankan delegation also co-sponsored a number of Human Rights Council resolutions on a wide variety of issues.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 27 March 2009 )|
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