Statement by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to the 32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera, leader of the Sri Lanka delegation, addressed the 32nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council at the presentation of the Oral Update on the Implementation of the HRC Resolution A/HRC/RES/30/1 by the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, today (29 June 2016).


Hon. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva,Mr. Mano Tittawella, Secretary General, Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) and other senior officials of the Government of Sri Lanka were associated with the Minister.

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Government of Sri Lanka takes note of the Report by the SR on Minority Issues and welcomes her visit to Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka said “Especially in the context of factually incorrect reference to Sri Lanka in the Report, we welcome the visit of the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues to Sri Lanka, as such a visit will certainly enable the Special Rapporteur to engage with all concerned in my country to obtain the factual position in this regard and accurate information which will clarify and clear misconceptions pertaining to the areas mentioned in this report”.

Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya made this intervention at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues under Agenda Item 3 during the 31st Session of the Human Rights Council held at the Palais des Nations on 15 March 2016 in Geneva.

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Sri Lanka speaks during the adoption of the consensus Resolution on Sri Lanka

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Statement made by Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, in the Agenda Item 2 – adoption of the resolution “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” (A/HRC/30/L.29) at the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council today, (01st October 2015).
 

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Sri Lanka participates in General debate on Right to Development

Sri Lanka participated in the general debate held under Item 3 regarding the Report of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Right to Development at the 30th Session of the Human Right Council in Geneva on 17 September 2015.

Full Statement

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Ambassador Aryasinha outlines Sri Lanka’s views at informal on resolution

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Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha today outlined Sri Lanka’s view on the current draft resolution being considered at the 30th Session of the Human Rights Council during the first informal held at the Palais des Nations.

Full Statement

 

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera addresses the 30th Session of the HRC in Geneva

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera addressed the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, in his capacity as the leader of the Sri Lanka delegation today (14th September 2015) in Geneva.

Hon. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Minister of Justice and Buddha Sasana, Hon. Austin Fernando, Governor - Eastern Province and Adviser to H.E. the President, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva and senior officials of the Government of Sri Lanka participated in the opening meeting.

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Foreign Minister Samaraweera meets Prince Zeid

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Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa along with senior government officials met UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid at the Palais Wilson in Geneva on Sunday, 13 September 2014. 
 
Minister Samaraweera will address the Human Rights Council on Monday, 14 September.
 

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Sri Lanka highlights the importance of enhancing public investment in education

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Sri Lanka has highlighted the importance of enhancing public investment in education as an essential prerequisite to ensure right to education. It was noted that the new Government has pledged to increase the total provision for education from 1.7 percent to 6 percent of the GDP as well as to increase Mahapola scholarships to Rs.5000.
 
Sri Lanka made these observations in as intervention at the Interactive Dialogue with the Special rapporteur on Right to Education and IE on International Solidarity at the 29th Session of the Human Right Council in Geneva on 18 June 2015.
 

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Sri Lanka takes action against traffickers under due processes while treating migrants as victims of smugglers

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"Sri Lanka in order to prevent all forms of irregular migration, trafficking in persons and smuggling of human beings, is taking action against those traffickers under due processes, while treating the migrants as victims of smugglers". On the issue of migrants in Sri Lanka, "Sri Lanka is aware of the importance of looking at the issues related to irregular migrants into Sri Lanka in a nuanced manner and the need to develop a coherent national policy, as well as the additional capacity and resources required as a developing country, to handle matters related to migrant welfare".
 
Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation Ravinatha Aryasinha made these observations during an Interactive Dialogue on the opening day (15 June 2015) of the 29th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, following Mr. François Crépeau, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants presenting his report, pursuant to a visit to Sri Lanka from 19-26 May 2014. 
 

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Sri Lanka address Third Session of the Open-ended IWG on a Draft UN Declaration on the Right to Peace

Sri Lanka addressed Third Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on a Draft United Nation Declaration on the Right to Peace held during 20 – 24 April 2015 in Geneva.

Full Statement

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
Geneva

27 April 2015

Ambassador Aryasinha speaks on "The Role of Women in Peace-building: a Sri Lankan perspective"

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Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha on 2 April 2015 addressed the first in the 'Ambassador’s Luncheon Series', on "The Role of Women in Peace-building: a Sri Lankan Perspective". The event which is a follow-up to the Geneva Peace Conference that was convened last year and focussed on Asian experiences of peace building, was co-organized by the Journalist and Writers Foundation (JWF), the Dialog Institute and Geneva Press Club. Mr. Subhas Gujadhur, Director of Universal Rights Group chaired the event.

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Foreign Minister Meets High Commissioner for Human Rights

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Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera who was in Geneva to participate in the High Level Segment of the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, 2nd March 2015 met with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights  Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
 

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Foreign Minister addresses High-level Segment of HRC in Geneva

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera addressing the High Level segment on the opening day of the 28th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, on 2nd March 2015 in Geneva briefed the Council on developments in Sri Lanka following the presidential election on 8th January and the new Government taking office. The Minister noted the Government was committed to engage and work in cooperation with a range of international organisations and countries and seek solutions to issues through dialogue, cooperation, understanding and learning.

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Sri Lanka calls for greater pace in the Working Group on Right to Development

Intervening at the Informal inter-sessional meeting of the Working Group on the Right to Development held from 16 – 17 February 2015 in Geneva, 
Sri Lanka expressed concern at the slow pace of progress in the Working Group on Right to Development and expected that the new framework to be presented by the Chairperson-Rapporteur will not only contribute to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the Working Group but also provide a new roadmap for this Working Group to achieve early completion of its mandate.
 

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Senior Advisor Jayantha Dhanapala meets with High Commissioner for Human Rights and Members of the Human Rights Council

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Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala, Senior Advisor on Foreign Affairs to the President of Sri Lanka visited Geneva from 27th – 29th January 2015.

He met the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, President of the Human Rights Council Joachim Rücker, as well as all members of the Human Rights Council in Groups.

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Sri Lanka reiterates its support for the adoption of a Declaration on Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas

Sri Lanka reiterates its supports the adoption of a Declaration which would demonstrate the commitment and efforts of the international community for the promotion and protection of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

Sri Lanka made this intervention at the First Informal Consultation of the Open-ended Working Group on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas at the Human Rights Council on 12 November 2014 in Geneva.

 

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GOSL responds to News Release by the UN OHCHR

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Following the News Release yesterday (7 November 2014) by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights condemning disinformation designed to discredit the UN investigation on Sri Lanka, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva has sent the attached communication to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in this regard.

 

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Sri Lanka emphasizes commitment to address the issue of 'ethical labour recruitment practices' during its tenure as Colombo Process Chair

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Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, has said Sri Lanka which took over the chair of the Colombo Process (CP) one year ago was of the view that if it were to make a difference and ensure that some real benefits would accrue to the people of the member countries, it was important that they address the tough issues, including 'Ethical Labour Recruitment Practices'. He noted that in ongoing deliberations the CP is seeking to harmonize existing national regulatory frameworks, promote Standard Employment Contracts (including addressing issue of contract substitution and create a registration mechanism for contracts), consider common minimum wage levels, and conditions that promote health and well-being and insurance protection, and to develop a common position on ethical recruitment practices.

Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations and reviewed the progress made by the CP under Sri Lanka's leadership, when he addressed an Expert Consultation on Recruitment Practices and their Impact on Human Rights of Migrants, held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 31 October 2014. The consultation was convened by Mr. Francois Crepeau, Special Repporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants and was attended by diplomats, academics, representatives of the ILO and IOM, Recruitment specialists, as well as NGOs involved in the field.

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Sri Lanka should be judged in proportion to the challenges faced by a country emerging from a 30 year terrorist conflict - Ambassador Aryasinha tells the Human Rights Committee in Geneva

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Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Leader of the Sri Lanka delegation to the Human Rights Committee Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha asked the Human Rights Committee to “judge Sri Lanka in proportion to the challenges Sri Lanka has continued to face as a country emerging from a 30 year terrorist conflict".

The Ambassador made this observation in responding to comments made during the consideration of Sri Lanka's 5th Periodic Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) by the Human Rights Committee, which was held on 7-8 October 2014 in Geneva. The Human Rights Committee comprises a body of independent experts from 18 countries that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its State parties.


Responding to a question raised by the Committee as to why the PTA is still in existence in Sri Lanka, Ambassador Aryasinha said Sri Lanka does not shy away from making considered choices and is adept at differentiating, in the best interest of its people. He recalled that notwithstanding security concerns, the government had speedily resettled almost all internally displaced persons, that out of approximately 12,000 LTTE ex-combatants who have been reintegrated into society, all but 114 are undergoing rehabilitation, and 84 are under legal proceedings, and that in 2011 the government had allowed emergency to lapse, which at the time many felt was too hasty. In spite of concerns raised, the Government of Sri Lanka had taken these calculated risks. He said, the government had to keep the PTA in effect, albeit reluctantly, due to recent incidents pointing to attempts at the resurgence of terrorism in Sri Lanka with involvement of external networks. He pointed out that such caution was also taken by many governments who have had to face the threat of terrorism.

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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"

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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

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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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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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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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