UN Human Rights Council divided over Sri Lanka issue, says envoy

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:23 pm IST

Published - March 24, 2014 12:29 am IST - Colombo:

Sri Lanka claimed on Sunday there was a “division” among members of the UN Human Rights Council over a U.S.-backed resolution and termed it a victory for the country. Sri Lankan President’s Human Rights Envoy and Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who returned after addressing regional groups of the UNHRC, said the 47-member rights body stands divided over the resolution coming up later this month.

“We can clearly see a division among members. This itself I view as a triumph for us. This was because we could convince some of them with our progress achieved since the war ended,” he said.

Mr. Samarasinghe said most of the member nations are clamped by the U.S. pressure to vote in favour of the resolution. “We can not see an environment where they could make an independent decision at the UNHRC. Most countries are under political pressures.”

Sri Lanka made its opposition clear, he said, as the U.S. resolution would create a bad precedent.“It will be another country tomorrow after Sri Lanka.” If this was allowed making it possible for the UN Human Rights Commissioner to set up an international inquiry, it will be carried out without any kind of fairness.”

The U.S.-moved resolution is being dubbed by the government as action to try Mr. Rajapaksa in the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes. Sri Lanka is facing its third UN Human Rights Council resolution in three years, censuring it on its lack of progress on human rights accountability and reconciliation with its Tamil minority after the civil war ended with the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009. Previously, two such resolutions were backed by India.

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