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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The GOSL provides clarifications on 47 cases of disappearances to the UN Working Group

As a part of the continuing efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to provide clarifications on the alleged cases of disappearances submitted by the UN Working Group on Disappearances, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights has now provided an analysis of 47 possible cases of disappearances, which can be closed/clarified by the Working Group. The details of these cases have been forwarded to the UN Working Group by the Permanent Mission in Geneva.

Prior to their submission, the aforementioned 47 cases were compared with the findings of the following Commissions of Inquiry established by the Government of Sri Lanka and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka to investigate the alleged cases of disappearances:

 

· Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Involuntary Removal and Disappearance of Certain Persons (All Island) March 2001

· Human Rights Taskforce Annual Report—10 August 1992 to 10 August 1993

· Human Rights Taskforce Annual Report—10 August 1993 to 10 August 1994

· Report of the Committee on Disappearances in the Jaffna Region of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, October 2003

 

Of the forty seven (47) cases clarified, there were:

 

· Four (4) cases where death certificates had been issued to the next of kin;

· Twenty four (24) cases where the person was found to have returned home as reported by the next of kin, and registered as returned by the 2001 Commission.

· Nineteen (19) cases where the persons were found in official custody having been arrested under the laws of Sri Lanka.

 

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN
Geneva


16 December 2009

Ambassador Kshenuka Senewiratne presents credentials

Kshenuka Seneviratne credential 1
H.E. Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne presented her credentials, accrediting her as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva and other International Organizations in Switzerland, to H.E. Mr. Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva. H. E. Mrs. Senewiratne will also function as the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Switzerland.

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Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe addresses the World Climate Conference in Geneva

Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe addressing the WCC-3 sep2009

Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe addressed the High Level Segment of the World Climate Conference-3 which is being held in Geneva, delivering a policy statement on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka. The week-long conference, which began on 31 August, will conclude its deliberations on Friday 4 September with a High Level Declaration which was also adopted by consensus today.
 

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Sri Lanka fully endorses the efforts of the International Labour Organisation

Address made by Hon Athauda Seneviratne, Minister of Labour Relations and Manpower Sri Lanka at the 98th  Session of the International Labour Conference on June 18th, 2009
 
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 98th session of the International Labour Conference.  We also wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the Director-General for presenting to us his report, “Tackling the Global Job Crisis: Recovery through Decent Work Policies” which provides the background to larger part of work in the Conference including discussions at the plenary. 

 

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Russia has strengthened the individual, while not weakening the state: Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka

Speaking at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, 10th June, during the consideration of Russia’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report, Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka  made the following statement:

Sri Lanka welcomes the Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation and applauds his remarks here today. We also applaud the role played by the distinguished Ambassador of Russia, His Excellency Valery Loshchinin, in the Human Rights Council, in its institution/building package, in the UPR process and the Durban Review conference.

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Sri Lanka salutes Cuba’s Human Rights contribution and performance: Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka

 

Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka of Sri Lanka speaking at the consideration of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report of Cuba: 

Mr. Vice President,

Cuba participated in the UPR process on a very important landmark anniversary in its history: 50 years after the victory of the Cuban revolution. Cuba’s participation in the UPR has been a model of dynamism and active engagement. Here, Sri Lanka would like to salute the role played by Ambassador Juan Antonio Fernandez Palacios, who has been a militant combatant and a field commander in the battle of ideas in the Human Rights Council.

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Ambassador of India responds to Navi Pillay's remarks on Sri Lanka at the UN in Geneva

Full transcript of the Ambassador's statement:

Thank you, Mr. President, 

Mr. President, we thank the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms Navanethan Pillay for her statement this afternoon that provides useful updates on human rights themes and on situations of particular concern. We wish to raise a matter of some concern to our delegation with regard to the remarks made by the High Commissioner on Sri Lanka and the recently concluded special session in her statement. 

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Sri Lanka Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka responds to EU

Sri Lanka's Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka tells UK, France, to submit their own past military conduct to international inquiry

Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka responding to statements by the EU, UK and France supporting High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s call for an international inquiry into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Sri Lanka, made the following remarks at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva during the General Debate today:

“Mr. President,

Sri Lanka noted with some degree of amusement that the EU, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France were all cheering on the notion of an International Inquiry into allegations of human rights violations conducted “by all sides”, as they put it, to the Sri Lankan conflict.  

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“Sri Lanka does not believe in any attempt to equate the two sides involved in the armed conflict”

Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka responds to UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s call for International Inquiry:

Thank you Mr. President, Madam High Commissioner, 

Madam High Commissioner welcomed last week’s Human Rights Council Special Session – may I echo that with a slight modification – Sri Lanka welcomes the outcome of last week’s Human Rights Council Special Session. We hope it was as good for the co-sponsors of the Special Session as it was for us in Sri Lanka, though I am not sure I’d recommend that we should all do it again sometime soon.

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A bridge between Sri Lanka and the World, a bridge between Sri Lanka’s past and its future

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka speaks at the recently concluded 11th special session of the UN Human Rights Council

The Resolution submitted by Sri Lanka and co-sponsors was adopted with a convincing majority of 29 for and 12 against with 6 abstaining.

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Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition enters into history in Geneva

Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition of Sri Lanka was elected on consensus as the president of the 62nd World Health Assembly (WHA) today (18/05) at the plenary of the WHA. 
 
Hon. Minister of Sri Lanka enters into the history in the World Health Organization as he is also the Chairman of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization while being elected as the President of the WHA. 
 
Accepting the Presidency, Hon Minister highlighted pressing issues that need to be addressed in setting the World Health Agenda.
 

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Press briefing on the current situation in Sri Lanka

The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office in Geneva, in collaboration with the Geneva Press Club - Club suisse de la presse –, organised a press conference on the topic ‘Current Situation in Sri Lanka’, today (24 April 2009) at ‘la pastorale,’ Geneva.

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Sri Lanka at UN Anti-Racism Conference

Hon. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, led a high-level Sri Lankan delegation to the United Nations’ Durban Review Conference, which was held in Geneva 20-24 April 2009 to evaluate the progress made towards achieving the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in 2001.

In addition to Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka and officers of the Mission, the delegation consisted of Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights and Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process, and Mr. Yasantha Kodagoda, Deputy Solicitor General.  

The UN Durban Review Conference was declared open by Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, who appealed to the international community, in his address, to grow beyond divisions and move ahead in the fight against Racism. Mr. Miguel d’Escoto, President of the General Assembly, issued a statement in which he pointed out that the most terrible experiences of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance had been generated by models and projects of development that were opposed to human rights.  

Addresses were delivered by Ms. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretary General of the Conference and Mr. Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi, President of the Human Rights Council. A statement by Mr. Nelson Mandela was also read out. 

Speaking during the High Level segment of the Conference, Hon. Douglas Devananda gave a brief history of Sri Lanka’s political problems. The Hon. Minister requested the international community to pressurize the LTTE to surrender, or at least to release the rest of the civilians whom they are holding. He also stated that H.E. Mahinda Rajapakse is committed to the full implementation of the 13th amendment to Sri Lanka’s Constitution which ensures substantive provincial autonomy, and that further changes, including the establishment of a Second Chamber of Parliament, are being considered.  He also made reference to the sittings of the All Party Representative Committee and its proposals for amending the Constitution to devolve more power to the provinces.  

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights and Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process, intervened in the General Debate, and he was warmly congratulated for his remarks by several Asian and other delegations. Mr. Kodagoda also was actively engaged in rebutting falsehoods presented about Sri Lanka in one of the NGO meetings that took place on the sidelines of the Conference.  

Hon. Devananda had an opportunity to brief Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, at a lunch hosted by the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Hon. Minister and the delegation also met with the High Commissioner for Human Rights separately at which the delegation thanked the High Commissioner for Human Rights for assisting with the police training which Sri Lanka had long been requiring.  

The delegation also met with the High Commissioner for Refugees, who welcomed recent developments in Sri Lanka and pledged further assistance. The Hon. Minister thanked the High Commissioner for Refugees for the ready assistance of his staff in Sri Lanka. The Hon. Minister appreciated the ready acknowledgment of Mr. Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, of the care the government had exercised throughout the operations while recognizing the difficulties Sri Lanka faced in dealing with terrorism. 

The delegation also met with a number of Ministers and other dignitaries from Pakistan, Indonesia, Palestine, Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador and Mr. Anders B. Johnson, the Secretary General of the Inter Parliamentary Union. As the incoming President of the Non-Aligned Movement, Egypt affirmed its appreciation of the long standing connection between Sri Lanka and Egypt, and spoke of plans to restore the influence of the Movement. The Hon. Minister said he was impressed by the work in Brazil of the Secretariat for promoting Racial Equality, and said that he would suggest a similar Secretariat in Sri Lanka that would also work on Regional disparity, given the limitations on development in many provinces in Sri Lanka that are distant from the capital.  

During his stay in Geneva the Hon. Minister also interacted with members of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora.  

Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen declared open the ‘Victims of Terrorism’ Exhibition at an event organized by the Mission which was attended by many Sri Lankans of all communities as well as other invitees. 

The delegation gave several interviews to the Press, and conducted a press briefing at the Press Club of Geneva.

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

Geneva 29 April 2009

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