Feb 28, Geneva: Thailand has publically come to the aid of Sri Lanka in its struggle to convince the United Nations Human Right Council that it should be given enough time to complete its domestic process for national reconciliation.
Thailand, one of the 47 members of the UNHRC has said that the Council should take into account the views of countries concerned and the efforts they have made when making decisions.
Addressing the High level Segment of the 19th session Monday, Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul has said that in Thailand’s view the Council should pursue further efforts to enhance a cooperative approach, particularly on country situations and make use of the available tools in a discerning manner.
The Council should allow adequate time to exhaust domestic remedies and engage them in the whole deliberation process, he has said.
Sri Lanka has made considerable advances towards reconciliation and sustainable development after years of strife, the Thai envoy has pointed out.
“We view that Sri Lanka’s home-grown process should be prioritized to address the remaining issues,” he has said.
“We thus support the Sri Lankan Government’s voluntary engagement with the international community. We also value its efforts to consider how to best implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC),” Thailand has declared.
Portugal, which is not currently a member of the Council, recognized the LLRC report saying that it included important, constructive elements and encouraged the Sri Lankan government to implement its recommendations.
However, the Portugal Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, Paolo Sacadura Cabral Portas has stressed that the issue of accountability for serious human rights and humanitarian law violations has also to be dealt with and is a requisite for reconciliation.
Sri Lanka is bracing to avert a possible a UN resolution which has the backing of the United States and the European member states in the Council.
Following the address to the Council yesterday, Sri Lanka’s representative to the 19th session Plantation Minister and President’s Special Envoy for Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said the reaction to his speech has been very positive and Sri Lanka has received support from several member states.
UN sources say the Council is somewhat toning down the draft resolution from its initial tough stand to gain a wider support from the member states and member states receiving aid support from the United States are more likely to support the resolution against Sri Lanka.