Like Minded Group Joint Statement says " the intrusive mandate given to the OHCHR by Res. 25/1 to carry out investigations on Sri Lanka is unwarranted"

HRC floor
Twenty-two developing countries of the Like Minded Group (LMG) in Geneva, in a joint statement made through its Chair - Egypt, have said the Group "believes that the intrusive mandate given to the OHCHR by Res. 25/1 to carry out investigations on Sri Lanka is unwarranted, especially in the context where the country is implementing its own domestic processes". It said "OHCHR's efforts should contribute to a state's own efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights, as stipulated in the UNGA Res. 48/141, UNGA Res. 60/251, UNGA Res. 65/281 and in the IB package. These core documents do not confer any oversight authority to the OHCHR over sovereign countries. Any external assistance to countries should expressly be in consultation with and with the consent of that country". It also noted that "however, in contravention of these fundamental principles, Resolution 25/1 calls for 'comprehensive investigation' by the OHCHR, thereby vesting an investigative authority on the office". It said, "as we have observed, successive resolutions on Sri Lanka have not enjoyed the consensus of the Council members. This was amply evident by the divided vote of 14 against, 10 abstentions on OP 10 of resolution 25/1, which sought to establish the OHCHR investigation". The statement added "the international community should be mindful not to jeopardize the delicate process of reconciliation that is already underway in Sri Lanka".
  
The countries joining this statement (see full text below) were; Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, DPRK, Myanmar, Nicaragua,  Pakistan, Russia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda,  Venezuela, Zimbabwe. It was delivered on Thursday (25 September 2014) following the 'Oral Update' of the High Commissioner and the reply by Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative.
 

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Sri Lanka will not help legitimize a flawed process that could set dangerous precedent by cooperating with the OHCHR investigation

hrc27- 25 Sept2014

Responding to the ‘Oral Update’ on Sri Lanka by the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva today (25 September 2014), Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said “the Government of Sri Lanka does not wish to help legitimize a flawed process and have a detrimental precedents established”, and hence “has to respectfully refuse those who urge that Sri Lanka cooperate with the OHCHR investigation.”

He said this position has been taken after much consideration and represents not only the will of the Sri Lankan people as reflected in the motion recently adopted in the Parliament with an overwhelming majority, but also the majority within the Human Rights Council, who refused to support Operational Paragraph 10 of HRC resolution 25/1 which created an OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka in March 2014.

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Ambassador Aryasinha commends Sri Lanka – WIPO Action Plan as a useful model for Developing Countries

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Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha said Sri Lanka believes that the ‘10 Point Action Plan’ between the Government of Sri Lanka and WIPO could serve as a useful model for developing countries in upgrading their intellectual property protection regimes and delivering the benefits of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to a broader spectrum of stakeholders.

Ambassador made this observation when he addressed the 54th Series of Meetings of the Assemblies of Member States of WIPO on 23rd September 2014 in Geneva. He noted as the coordinator of SAARC Countries for WIPO- SAARC Consultation Meeting earlier this month, Sri Lanka highlighted the need to enhance implementation of the Development Agenda through its activities and the importance of formulating targeted country plans to achieve the objectives of WIPO’s technical assistance. He also added that the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen mutual cooperation between WIPO and SAARC countries, expected to be considered during the upcoming Summit Meeting of SAARC Member States scheduled to be held in Kathmandu November this year, will further contribute to the development of IP regimes in our region.

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Sri Lanka expresses concern about increasing use of armed drones

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Sri Lanka has said it is greatly concerned by the increasing use of remotely piloted aircraft or armed drones in counterterrorism operations, violating the international human rights and humanitarian laws, in particular the principles of precaution, distinction and proportionality.
 
Ambassador Aryasinha addressing the Panel discussion on “Ensuring use of remotely piloted aircraft or armed drones in counterterrorism and military operations in accordance with international law, including international human rights and humanitarian law”  on 22 September 2014 at the 27th Session of Human Rights Council in Geneva, said  Sri Lanka supported the Council's call to ensure that incidents of killing civilians during the use of such drones are promptly investigated in a transparent and accountable manner and victims are appropriately compensated. He further pointed out that the possibility of acquiring or development of armed drones by non-state actors or terrorist groups should not be excluded and suggested to draw early attention on the matter and take precautions as it would be a serious threat to international peace.
 

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Sri Lanka reiterates support for Palestinian Statehood

hrc27 22sep2014-2

Sri Lanka has reiterated its consistent and steadfast support for the Palestinian people in the pursuit of their inalienable rights, including the right to statehood, within the framework of a sovereign, independent, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, peacefully co – existing alongside Israel.


Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, Ambassador Aryasinha made this statement at the General Debate under Item 7 at the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 22nd September 2014.


Full Statement

 
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
Geneva
 
22 September 2014
 

Success in the process of drafting a Declaration on Right to Peace should be through consensus

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Sri Lanka believes that the only way to achieve success in the process of drafting a Declaration on right to peace should be through consensus, based on established principles of international law.


Sri Lanka made this observation at the General Debate under Agenda Item 5 on the Report of Inter-Governmental Working Group on the Right to Peace at the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

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Sri Lanka implements projects aimed at protecting and promoting the heritage of indigenous people

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Intervening in the Clustered ID with the SR on Indigenous Peoples and EMRIP at the 27th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on 17th September 2014, Sri Lanka said the Government had implemented many projects aimed at protecting and promoting the heritage of indigenous people, and has taken several measures to help indigenous people to continue with their traditional lifestyle, ensure their rights and to safeguard and preserve their culture.
 

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Sri Lanka commitment to advance supportive, fair and enabling global partnerships and actions for realising the MDGs and SGDs

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Participating at the General Debate under Agenda Item 3 - Report of the Working Group on Right to Development at the 27th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on 17th September 2014, Sri Lanka expressed its commitment as the Chair of the G-15  to advance supportive, fair and enabling global partnerships and actions for realising the MDGs and an ambitious post 2015 development agenda, including the SGDs.
 

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G-15 urged UNCTAD to concentrate on advancing New and Pragmatic Policy Responses in addressing Multi-Faceted Challenges in Developing Countries

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Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Chairman of the Personal Representatives of the Group of Fifteen (G-15), has urged member countries not to be deterred by the sluggish and slow recovering global economy and to identify and implement initiatives to address pressing concerns on trade and development. He said “Trade and development are important ingredients in international affairs and must be addressed collectively, as UNCTAD continues to advance independent thinking and discussions on the interplay of international trade, economic growth and development”. 
 
Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations when he delivered a Joint Statement at 61st Session of UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Board on 15 September 2014 in Geneva, on behalf of G-15, a Summit Level Group of Developing Countries comprising 17 member States - Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. 
 

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Multiple initiatives taken to address allegations of disappearances

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Intervening at the Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances at 27th Session of the Human Rights Council, the Delegation of Sri Lanka stated that  multiple initiatives have been taken to address the allegations of disappearances, which include strengthening the domestic institutional framework to deal with all aspects of disappearances; streamlining the mechanism of entertaining complaints; and putting in place measures to investigate disappearances in a timely manner.

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Unilateral coercive measures hinders the fostering of a democratic and equitable international order

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Intervening in the Clustered ID with the Working Group on Mercenaries and the Independent Expert on Democratic Equitable International Order at the 27th UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 10th September 2014, Sri Lanka reiterated that democratic and equitable international order should also facilitate the realization of right to development in its individual and collective dimensions.
 

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Sri Lanka fully committed to address the increasing challenges of the ageing population

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Intervening in the interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons at the 27th UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 9th September 2014, Sri Lanka reiterated its full commitment to address the increasing challenges of the ageing population, and reaffirms its unwavering commitment to upholder the rights, dignity and the wellbeing of the older persons.

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Sri Lanka responds during discussion on UN High Commissioner's Report to the 27th Session of the Human Rights Council

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Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha addressing 27th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva today (8 September 2014), welcoming the new High Commissioner Zeid Bin Ra'ad Al-Hussein on his appointment, said, "his wide experience in diplomacy, in-depth knowledge of the UN system and understanding and respect for social and cultural characteristics are useful assets that will guide the work of the OHCHR, consistent with the IB package and based on the fundamental principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity, non‑selectivity, constructive international dialogue and cooperation". He observed that "despite Sri Lanka's non-recognition of the politically motivated resolution on Sri Lanka during HRC 25, Sri Lanka would continue to engage with the regular mechanisms of the Council, and looked forward to the opportunity to engage during Sri Lanka's fifth periodic report under the ICCPR next month -October 2014".

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Ambassador Aryasinha Identifies Global Challenges to Sri Lanka as a Rising Nation

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Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha has said, "while we have defeated the LTTE in Sri Lanka, the organization, its ideology and its operations are very much alive in a number of Western countries. Immediately, this remains a challenge to speeding up the pace of reconciliation in Sri Lanka, and eventually, a potent danger to Sri Lanka as a rising nation".  

Addressing the session devoted to the global challenges to Sri Lanka as a rising nation at the Army Seminar 2014, he said "besides the socio-economic challenges to Sri Lanka that emanate from the global sphere which has already been exhaustively analyzed in the keynote address, there were three sets of  global challenge Sri Lanka would face as a rising nation. First the actions of some states in the international system, second those arising from the actions of sections of the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora and third the challenges emanating more specifically from the hardcore LTTE remnants presently spread across various parts of the world".  
 

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Dates confirmed for Pope Francis' trip to Sri Lanka, Philippines

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The Holy See Press Office issued a communiqué Tuesday confirming the dates of the Apostolic Trip of the Holy Father in Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
 
Accepting the invitation from the civil authorities and the Episcopate, His Holiness Francis will make an Apostolic Trip to Sri Lanka from 12 to 15 January and in the Philippines from 15 to 19 January 2015. The program for the trip will be published shortly.
 

Sri Lanka expresses deep concern at the recent escalation of violence in Gaza

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“The Government of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned at the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, resulting in the tragic loss of civilian lives, and extensive damage to property. One cannot remain unmoved by the cruel fate of children who are innocent victims of violence. We offer our deepest condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones and for the devastation and grief they have suffered recently.”
 
Sri Lanka’s  Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva,  Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha made this observation at the 21st  Special Session of the Human Rights Council on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem  held in Geneva on 23 July 2014 . 
 

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Sri Lanka completes development of risk profiles for major natural hazards, and landslide and drought hazard assessments

Sri Lanka has successfully undertaken the development of risk profiles for major natural hazards, and landslide and drought hazard assessments have already been completed. Hazard profiles of Coastal Hazards, Cyclones and Floods will be completed by the end of the year. The Ministry of Disaster Management has taken a number of other initiatives to mainstream disaster risk reduction into development sectors such as housing, road development, health, education etc.


Sri Lanka’s  Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva,  Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha made this observation at the Discussion on the "Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction" during the First Preparatory Committee for the Third United Nations World conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which took place in Geneva on 15 July 2014.

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Sri Lanka promotes participation of disable persons in vocational training in line with LLRC Recommendations

Sri Lank told the Human Rights Council today (25 June 2014) that persons with disabilities in conflict-affected areas receive benefits from Government schemes including housing and livelihood support. The Government promotes the participation of disabled persons in vocational training with assistance from international partners. For example, the ORHAN Vocational Training Centre in Vavuniya in the North has a current enrolment of 70 per cent disabled students.  These steps are also being taken in keeping with the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC.
 
This observation was made at the  Panel Discussion on “Technical cooperation and capacity-building in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities through legal and institutional frameworks, including public-private partnerships”.
 

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Sri Lanka calls for implementation of UNGA Resolutions on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to Statehood and the attainment of a two-State solution

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Sri Lanka has called for implementation of the UNGA Resolutions regarding the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to Statehood and the attainment of a two-State solution. Sri Lanka also urged  “ an end to the Gaza blockade and Israel’s settlements in Palestine Occupied Territories and the release of more Palestinian detainees”,  saying it “will help reduce the mistrust and bitterness between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples”.
 
Sri Lanka’s  Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha made this observation when he intervened in the general debate on Agenda  Item 7 – “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories” which took place at the 26th Human Rights Council in Geneva today (24 June 2014).
 

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Sri Lanka rejects inference that the presence of the military contributes to the insecurity of women and girls in the former conflict-affected areas

Sri Lanka has strongly rejected the inference that the presence of the military contributes to the insecurity of women and girls in the former conflict-affected areas.

Exercising a 'Right of Reply' with regard to the statement made during the General Debate under Agenda Item 4 by Canada, claiming ‘ongoing use of rape and sexual violence by Sri Lankan security forces against perceived government opponents,’ Sri Lanka said this claim is not substantiated by verifiable data or evidence. It was noted that any allegations supported by credible evidence are dealt with firmly by the authorities and legal action has been taken by the Government in all cases in which the Sri Lankan security personnel have been involved.

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Sri Lanka briefs Human Rights Council on action taken by Government following incidents of communal violence

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Sri Lanka today informed the Human Rights Council that prompt action had been taken by the government to bring back normalcy to Aluthgama and Beruwala, the areas affected by recent incidents of the communal violence.
 
This observation was made by Ms. Manisha Gunasekera, Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva exercising a 'Right of Reply' in response to comments made by Germany,  Norway and Canada during the General Debate under Agenda Item 4.
 

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Sri Lanka says preserving and enriching multicultural and multilingual diversity is a first step in promoting better understanding among different communities

Intervening in the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on International Solidarity and Working Group on Discrimination against Women and the Special Rapporteur on Right to Education at the 26th UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 16th June 2014, Sri Lanka said,  inculcating in students a commitment to preserving and enriching multicultural and multilingual diversity is a first step in promoting better understanding among a country's different communities. Since the end of the conflict, the Government has launched a 10-year National Plan for a Trilingual Sri Lanka in January 2012 for the implementation of the Trilingual Policy. The vision of this plan is to provide Sri Lankans the education, infrastructure and resources to acquire skills in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages to bring about integration and foster a society with mutual understanding and a sense of assimilation and belonging.
 

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Sri Lanka committed to eradicating of all forms of human trafficking

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Intervening in the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on International Solidarity and  Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in persons, especially women and children at the 26th UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 12th June 2014, Sri Lanka said “the Government of Sri Lanka acknowledges the gravity of human trafficking and has adopted a zero tolerance policy against any form of human trafficking. . In this context, the Government has been continuously emphasizing the importance of eradicating of all forms of human trafficking”.
 

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Sri Lanka demonstrated that humanitarian crises can be overcome with political commitment- Amb. Aryasinha

Amb Aryasinha at SR on IDP session


”In contrast to the considerable challenges in the humanitarian crises that continue to engulf many parts of the world today, Sri Lanka’s achievements particularly following the ending of the terrorist conflict provides confidence and hope that even the most severe and insurmountable humanitarian crisis can be overcome, with political commitment.”

Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha made this observation during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons in the Human Rights Council on Thursday, 12 June. The Special Rapporteur presented his report to the 26th session of the Council, currently underway in Geneva, pursuant to his mission to Sri Lanka in December 2013 at the invitation of the Government. He undertook several field visits during his mission, where he was provided with unfettered access, to engage with a variety of actors, including civil society.

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Sri Lanka says in national policy formulation to combat violence against women, it is necessary to focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women

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Intervening in the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and SR on Extreme Poverty at the 26th UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 12th June 2014, Sri Lanka said “We believe that in national policy formulation to combat violence against women, it is necessary to focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women to enable them to fully enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms. Sri Lanka’s national policy framework, has consistently highlighted the importance of gender equality and taken measures to alleviate any existing gender gaps”.

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Sri Lanka says States should take steps to implement health education programmes to promote healthy food options in schools

Intervening in the interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Right to Health and WG on Human Rights and Business at the 26th UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 11th June 2014, Sri Lanka has said “Multi-sectoral approach should be used to address diet-related Non-Communicable Deceases (NCDs) and to increase availability of healthier food alternatives through policy formulation. While providing information about the ill effects of unhealthy foods and raising awareness of the benefits of balanced diets and healthy foods, States should take steps to implement health education programmes to promote healthy food options in such institutional settings such as schools”.

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