Sri Lanka prepared to face any challenges at UNHRC sessions

Feb 01, Colombo: Sri Lanka is prepared to face any challenges successfully at the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva later this month, the country’s Foreign Secretary says.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama has emphasized that the Sri Lankan delegation led by the Plantation Minister and President’s Special Human Rights Envoy Mahinda Samarasinghe is well-prepared to answer questions, address concerns and face challenges that may arise at the 19th session of the Human Rights Council scheduled to begin on February 27.

Amunugama has said that the United States and some European countries are planning to bring forth a Resolution with regard to human rights in Sri Lanka and that the delegation will be prepared to respond to any such action and to the sponsors of the resolution.

Minister Samarasinghe has said that the delegation will address the UNHRC sessions and report on the progress made in the human rights and reconciliation fronts.

However, Sri Lanka will not be presenting the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) at the council session but will be prepared to take the floor and respond to any questions raised by the international community on the LLRC report, the Minister has said.

The Foreign Secretary, commenting on the criticisms by Western countries, INGOs and the Tamil National Alliance that the LLRC does not adequately address accountability issues, has said that most of the critics have set their minds against the LLRC even before the commission released its final report.

“We know that we can’t make them happy no matter what we do. We can’t help that,” stat-run newspaper Daily News quoted Amunugama as saying.

“Sri Lanka is not going to make decisions to make NGOs and other countries happy; what is best for our country and our people will be decided by the people of Sri Lanka,” the Foreign Secretary has said.

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