Minister Samarasinghe at 19th session of UNHRC:
Urgency for resolution unjustified
* Measures in place towards comprehensive reconciliation
* Calls for objective assessment of govt’s commitment
Plantation Industries Minister and Special Envoy of the President on
Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said there was no
justification or urgency to float a resolution calling for the
implementation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)
recommendations and engagement with the UN High Commissioner for HR when
this has already been effectively undertaken by the government.
Addressing the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights
Council in Geneva, Minister Samarasinghe, leader of the Lankan
delegation, said what they now need from the international community is
objectivity in assessing Sri Lanka’s efforts.
“More than anything, we need to ensure that the process is allowed to
advance unimpeded. We do not need unwarranted incursions that will
compromise successful implementation.
Such interference by way of redundant resolutions before this
Council, would only undermine the sentiments of this Council as
expressed in the decisive adoption of the Special Session resolution on
Sri Lanka in 2009.”
He said Sri Lanka has taken clear and definite steps towards
implementation of the recommendations of the domestic process , barely
two months after the report was made public. “We have evolved a
mechanism to look into accountability issues raised in the LLRC report
both in the form of civil and military structures.
This is coupled with a time bound plan in the form of the National
Human Rights Action Plan catering to a number of other recommendations
to move Sri Lanka towards comprehensive reconciliation,” he said.
“One thing is certain: the story of “tens of thousands” of civilian
deaths that supposedly occurred during the final phase of the
humanitarian operation, is very clearly proved to be a gross
exaggeration and a deliberate misrepresentation of fact,” Minister
He added: “You may have noted that the Commission offers detailed
observations and recommendations on International Humanitarian Law
issues relating to the final phases of the conflict.
The report endorses the position that the protection of civilian life
was a key factor in the formulation of policy for carrying out military
operations, and that the deliberate targeting of civilians formed no
part of it.
This was and remains the position of the government.”