President refuses to fully implement UNHRC proposals

President Maithripala Sirisena today refused to fully implement proposals submitted to Sri Lanka by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The President said that he will ensure any proposal which goes against the Constitution of the country is not implemented.

 The President had said this while attending an event in Meegahatenna, Kalutara today.
 He said that the UNHRC had made several statements which were factually incorrect.
 The President said that while the Government will accept what is right it will reject what is wrong.

He said that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had been misled by some groups with regards to the part on land occupied by the Army in the North.

 The President said that he is not prepared to accept her proposal on the land issue mentioned in her report on Sri Lanka which was formally released at the UNHRC last week.

He also said that he was not aware of the decision taken by the Government to cosponsor the Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.

“On February 25th the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Geneva (Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez) had signed the Resolution without informing me. I do not accept that,” he said.

 He said that the statement made on behalf of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC was drafted with his involvement and it was for that reason that the statement firmly opposed a hybrid court to investigate human rights abuses.
 Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana read the statement at the UNHRC but the President says the original statement was different to what was eventually approved by him.

Speaking further, the President said that the Missing Persons Office and the proposed Truth Seeking Commission are part of proposals from outside the country which are not looking to serve the country by the LTTE diaspora.

Last week the UNHRC passed a Resolution on Sri Lanka titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” which gives Sri Lanka another two years to fully implement Resolution 30/1 of October 2015. The Resolution which was put before the UNHRC last week was cosponsored by Sri Lanka.

 Resolution 30/1 of October 2015 notes the importance of participation in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism, including the special counsel’s office, of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorized prosecutors and investigators.

However the Government says it will not agree to the inclusion of foreign judges. (Colombo Gazette)

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