Sri Lanka delegation leaves for Geneva to attend UNHRC sessions

Sept 09, Colombo: The top level Sri Lankan delegation attending the United Nations Human Rights Council session scheduled to begin on September 12 in Geneva has left the country Thursday, the government news agency announced.

The Sri Lankan government has appointed a five-member delegation headed by Plantation Minister and Special Human Rights Envoy Mahinda Samarasinghe to address the 18th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva from September 12-30.

The other members of the delegation include Ministers Prof. G. L. Peiris, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and government parliamentarian supervising the External Affairs Ministry Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena.

Attorney General of Sri Lanka Mohan Peiris and some senior officials of the External Affairs Ministry will also join the delegation.

External Affairs Minister Prof. G L Peiris will visit Geneva from Jordan where he is having bilateral consultations on Sri Lanka’s post conflict situation with the King of Jordan, King Abdullah II and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh.

Minister Samarasinghe is scheduled to address the HRC on 12th of September.

Prior to the sessions next week, the delegation expects to hold discussions with the President and member countries of the Human Rights Council, other members of the UN family, as well as representatives of civil society, on the development, resettlement, rehabilitation and reconciliation efforts currently being carried out by the government of Sri Lanka, the government said..

Minister Samarasinghe said the government hopes to inform the international community about the post war development activities in the country and obtain their assistance.

“We hope to develop the Northern areas and bring normalcy to the area. Not only that we hope to develop the whole nation by uniting the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Burghers. By lifting the state of emergency we have sent a message to the whole world stating that we have not stalled in one place after the end of the war,” Minister Samarasinghe has said.

The Minister also hopes to show the government prepared documentary “Lies Agreed Upon” to the international community to counter the allegations of war crimes depicted by the Britain’s Channel 4 video “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” which was widely circulated and viewed throughout the international community.

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