Sri Lanka is not a matter for the UN Human Rights Council

June 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam has said that Sri Lanka is not a matter for the UN Human Rights Council and Sri Lanka regularly briefs the UNHRC on the country’s efforts for respecting human rights.

In an interview on Indo-Lanka relations to India’s The Statesman newspaper on Saturday, the envoy said any intrusive examination of the Sri Lanka’s situation is uncalled for since it is capable of handling the situation.

The High Commissioner has explained that Sri Lanka is a democratic country and there are several national mechanisms currently in place to handle all those concerns expressed by the international community.

Speaking of the position on the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in dissolving power, Kariyawasam has said that the13th amendment is a provision incorporated into Sri Lanka’s Constitution almost 25 years ago under different set of circumstances and it is not the perfect solution to the current problems.

“What Sri Lanka has gone through during the last 25 years, including the experience in implementing the various provisions of the 13th Amendment, has made us realise that the 13th Amendment is not the perfect panacea to our problems,” the envoy has said.

He said the country is working to find a political arrangement that will have the support of all major political parties in Sri Lanka and adjust the amendment to be acceptable to all communities in the country. India will undoubtedly welcome such a solution, the envoy has added.

When asked about the Britain’s Channel 4 video on alleged war crimes committed in the country, Kariyawasam has said the video lacks authenticity and is a collection of footage aired earlier on LTTE websites.

“The public airing of the video smacks of a conspiracy to bring disgrace to Sri Lanka,” he has said adding that Sri Lanka has challenged the authenticity of the tape.

He has expressed surprise that the backers of the video have the money to go to New York, to Geneva, to air the video.

We also dont have a strong local lobbying power in the Western world while the remaining fragments of the LTTE still have resources and a strong lobby there. Also, this video does not help the ongoing reconciliation process; instead of assisting the rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation processes, people are trying to undermine these efforts by lacerating wounds that are in the process of healing.

Kariyawasam also noted that the country did not have a strong local lobbying power in the Western world while the remaining fragments of the LTTE still have resources and a strong lobby.

“This video does not help the ongoing reconciliation process; instead of assisting the rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation processes, people are trying to undermine these efforts by lacerating wounds that are in the process of healing,” Kariyawasam has told The Statesman.

Speaking about the Tamil Nadu Assembly passing a resolution against Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner has said that it was unfortunate that such a resolution was passed and such comments were made against Sri Lanka because “we only have goodwill for the people of Tamil Nadu and for the leadership of Tamil Nadu.”

The envoy has expressed hope that a team of senior politicians from Tamil Nadu will visit Sri Lanka soon and have a first-hand look at the progress of the reconciliation process and the development then realize that the situation is very different from what is being perceived.

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