President Gotabaya Rajapaksa: Cannot entertain 2015 UNHRC resolution on war crime in its current form

December 20, 2019 03:36 pm | Updated 04:08 pm IST - Colombo

Srilankan President Gotabaya Rajapakse.

Srilankan President Gotabaya Rajapakse.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that the 2015 UN Human Rights Council resolution co-sponsored by the previous Sirisena government on alleged war crimes during the country’s three-decade long civil war with the LTTE cannot be entertained in its current form.

Commenting on the Tamil demand for political autonomy, Mr. Rajapaksa on Thursday stressed that no devolution of power would be possible without the consent of the majority.

“It is not possible to implement any form of power sharing political solution,” he said.

Asked to comment on the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution co-sponsored by the Sirisena government, the new Sri Lankan president said it cannot be entertained in its current form.

“It is not possible for the government to act against its own country,” he said.

The UNHRC resolutions since 2013 had censured Sri Lanka on its alleged human rights abuses. They called for probing of rights abuses by both LTTE and the government troops by setting up an international investigation.

Sri Lankan government troops were accused of killing at least 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians in the final months of the island’s 37-year guerrilla war that ended in May 2009 with the death of LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.

The previous government led by Maithripla Sirisena had co-sponsored a resolution in 2015 to address war crimes.

Mr. Rajapaksa also said Sri Lanka was not looking to change commercial terms in an agreement with China over a port in Hambantota, but will review its security aspects. “Hambantota Port will not be renegotiated as it is a commercial contract. However, it is important that the security aspects pertaining to the agreement analysed,” he said.

The Sirisena government in 2017 entered a 99 year lease on the Hambantota port. Mr. Rajapaksa said it was important that Sri Lanka had the control of all security aspects of the port.

“This concern has been understood by the Chinese,” he said.

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