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Statement made by H.E Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam,Sri Lankan Permanent Representative to the United Nations during the Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner on her Annual Report (Agenda Item 2)
Addressing the Human Rights Council under Agenda Item 2, H.E Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam highlighted that a dangerous precedent was once again sought to be established by way of a debate on the recommendations of a domestic process. Referring to the High Commissioner of Human Rights’ reference to Sri Lanka, Ambassador Kunanayakam recalled that the LLRC Report reflected the emblemic parameters of rule of law strategies, which have been earnestly taken note of by the Government of Sri Lanka for implementation. Ambassador Kunanayakam further asserted that ‘What concerns us and our people is the insidious attempt to selectively target Sri Lanka that seeks to set at nought our post conflict resurgence.’
Full text of Statement..
Madam High Commissioner,
We have taken note of the comments made by the High Commissioner on the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and while unreservedly dissenting with the observations of the High Commissioner on its domestic process vis a vis the UN Secretary General’s Panel, we would like to highlight, at the expense of repetition, that the LLRC report reflects the emblematic parameters of rule of law strategies, which have been earnestly taken note of by my Government for speedy implementation.
A dangerous precedent is again sought to be established by way of a debate on the recommendations of a domestic process which Sri Lanka condemns as a retrogressive step that undermines the constitutional parameters of this Council.
You will appreciate that the panel report that the High Commissioner referred to, was the culmination of a private consultation that the Secretary General sought to advise himself and is not the product or a request of the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly nor any other UN body. Its mandate did not extend to fact finding or investigation. In its report the Panel also makes it patently clear that the assertions set out therein remain unsubstantiated and require a higher standard of proof
We all bear in mind that both the Panel report and LLRC recommendation share a common denominator which the High Commissioner conveniently omitted to highlight. Neither originated from this Council !
What concerns us and our people is the insidious attempt to selectively target Sri Lanka that seeks to set at nought our post conflict resurgence.
Let us recall that the Human Rights Council was created in response to the politicization, selectivity and double standards of the former Commission.
The UPR is the appropriate mechanism to discuss progress made in the promotion and protection of human rights of all countries. Sri Lanka will be presenting its report during the second cycle of the UPR in October this year.
In the Council, there is no provision that permits debates and resolutions on processes that did not generate from the four corners of the institution- building of the Council.
The majority of the international community supports our efforts as reflected in the statements made by the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, which have expressed their support for our stand that a functioning domestic mechanism should not be circumvented by interference until its conclusion.
Thank You Madam President.