Sri Lanka Brief briefing note 28 April 2014
UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1, and Reactions of the Sri LankanPolitical and Civil Organisations
Read full report below or as a PDF UNHRC Resolution _2014 March_ and Responses form SL political parties
The Government of Sri Lanka:
UNHRC Resolution: More Countries against US Resolution – FM G.L. Peiris
External Affairs Minister Professor G.L. Peiris said that the outcome of the vote on the U.S sponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Commission reflects that more countries are against the U.S at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. He said the countries voted in favour of the ‘unethical’ resolution because they could not reject US pressure for economic reasons.
The External Affairs Minister said the international community knowing that they cannot bring about a regime change in the country by means of democratic means, was attempting to achieve their objectives through external means with the support of opposition and other inimical forces in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s foreign minister said that his country will not cooperate with the United Nations human rights chief when she begins an investigation into alleged crimes from the island nation’s civil war. Gamini Lakshman Peiris said that Sri Lanka does not accept the authority of U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to conduct an investigation. He said such an investigation will not be fair and objective because Pillay has a prejudged mind.
“Sri Lanka will not be participating in the inquiry. We don’t accept this inquiry and we will not be part of it,” Peiris told a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Association.
– Read more SLB
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has described his party’s victory in the provincial polls as a mandate against the UN rights resolution on his country. “People have given a clear message that no international interference would be tolerated,” Rajapaksa said in a statement. His ruling UPFA coalition retained the control of both western and southern provincial councils with reduced majorities. – Read more SLB
Sri Lanka will closely monitor the United Nations Panel of Experts (PoE) and those they are going to talk to in Sri Lanka, if the government decides to give the panel permission to visit Sri Lanka. …It depends on the PoE’s terms of reference. If the term of references is contrary to the Constitution, contrary to the activities we carry out here, or contrary to the programme we have set out, we will raise questions. “He even warned the witnesses the PoE would talk to. “If the witnesses’ claims infringe the Constitution, we will take legal action against them,” he said. – Read more SLB
Opposition Political Parties:
The UNP yesterday warned the government not to shun UN human rights probe. The government would have to face dire consequences unless it faced the proposed investigation, UNP Kandy District MP Lakshman Kirielle told Parliament yesterday. Kiriella said that the government should cooperate with the proposed international investigation and should prove that the charges against it were baseless. The MP said that the government’s decision not to cooperate with the investigation was a shortsighted one that would be detrimental to the national interests. – Read more SLB
Rajapaksa Family to Blame for Sri Lanka’s Plight – UNP
The UNP has repeatedly called on the regime to address the human rights challenges facing this country with the credibility and seriousness they deserve. The UNP has repeatedly extended its support to address these challenges and urged that by restoring public faith in the rule of law and independence of the judiciary, the Government can secure a degree of credibility for domestic inquiries into allegations against the country and its armed forces. We have urged the regime to reverse the draconian 18th Amendment to the constitution and restore the 17th Amendment that sets up independent institutions. We have urged the Government to uphold media freedom, protect the people’s right to information, stop the intimidation and harassment of dissidents and political opponents and prevent arbitrary arrest and killings during democratic civilian protest. Read more SLB
Sri Lanka Govt Should Support UN Probe – Sarath Fonseka, Democratic Party
Democratic Party leader, former Army chief Sarath Fonseka says Sri Lanka should support the proposal the UN has legally adopted. He is responding to a remark by SLMC secretary Hassan Ali to BBC that Sri Lanka should support a probe due by the UN human rights chief to prove the war crimes charges were false. Without making boastful statements, our country should face the issue and resolve it, Mr. Fonseka says. – Read more SLB
TNA Welcomes the Resolution
“The resolution is a victory for all Sri Lanka’s Peoples in their struggle for truth, justice and reconciliation. The resolution sends a strong message to the Sri Lankan government that the undemocratic, militarized and discriminatory trajectory on which it has set the country is unacceptable and unsustainable,” the TNA said in a statement. It added that the TNA looks forward to remaining engaged with the Government of Sri Lanka, the international community and the United Nations in giving effect to today’s resolution and using it to benefit all victims of serious violations in Sri Lanka. – Read more ST / SLB
Support the UN probe – SLMC
General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Hassan Ali told BBC Tamil service that Sri Lanka should support the UNHRC probe to prove that allegations are not true. Further he said that if the GoSL does not support the Un probe that allegations will become true.
Read more BBC Sinhala
Govt. Responsible for Geneva Debacle – JVP
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) said that the Government was solely responsible for the adoption of the UNHRC resolution because the Government was unable to win the confidence of the 12 countries that abstained due to continuous human right violations and the inability to uphold democracy in the country after the war. “ It was not so much about alleged war crimes but also because of media suppression, human right violations and been unable to establish democracy after the war. If the resolution was only about the alleged war crimes, the Government would have won,” JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said.
Tamil Civil Society Forum Concerned at Limitations of Resolution
The Tamil Civil Society Forum (TCSF) has expressed concern that the resolution passed at the UN Human Rights Council today has a limited mandate and does not address immediate issues, while appreciating those countries that co-sponsored and voted for the resolution.
In a statement signed by the Bishop of Mannar Rev Rayappu Joseph and Kumaravadivel Guruparan, a lecturer at the University of Jaffna, said, “TCSF expresses appreciation for those countries that sponsored and voted for the resolution. “We wish to stress upon the International Community, the need to take bold, firm and decisive steps that will be necessary to address the ongoing suffering of the Tamils.” – Read more ES / SLB
We welcome the establishment of an international investigative mechanism to establish the facts and circumstances pertaining to “serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes” committed in the island of Sri Lanka. The UN Human Rights Council adopted Resolution A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1 on March 27, 2014, which paves the way for a comprehensive international investigation. We urge that the investigation should cover the period prior to, during and after the end of the armed conflict in 2009.
-Joint Statement on UNHRC Resolution 25/1 on Sri Lanka
- British Tamils Forum
- Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America
- Global Tamil Forum
- Ilankai Tamil Sangam
- People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL)
- Solidarity Group for Peace and Justice in Sri Lanka
- Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam
- United States Tamil Political Action Council
– Read more SLB