Sri Lanka Says It Will Not Help Legitimize A Flawed Process

September 25, 2014

Responding to the ‘Oral Update’ on Sri Lanka by the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva today, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha  said “the Government of Sri Lanka does not wish to help legitimize a flawed process and have a detrimental precedents established”, and therefore “has to respectfully refuse those who urge that Sri Lanka cooperate with the OHCHR investigation.”

Ambassador Aryasinha stated “with all the calamities and afflictions around us today, Sri Lanka is clearly not a situation that requires the urgent and immediate attention of this Council. What Sri Lanka needs at this juncture is to be encouraged, and not impeded.”

He pointed out that “Government of Sri Lanka's principled opposition to the OHCHR investigation stems from several well founded concerns: its politically motivated agenda; it challenges the sovereignty  and independence of a member state of the UN; it violates a fundamental principle of international law, which requires that national remedies have to be exhausted before resorting to international mechanisms.

Although pretending to help, the actions of the HRC has in effect impeded  the reconciliation in Sri Lanka, Aryasinha added.

He also said “despite the proponents of resolution 25/1, as well as the OHCHR, repeatedly emphasizing the transparency of this process relating to Sri Lanka, the names of all but one of the 'investigation team' continue to remain secret, which is in clear contravention to the principles of natural justice. “

The Ambassador also reminded the Council that “in recent weeks many countries in the HRC had expressed concern about the increasing trend to assign the Office of the High Commissioner with extensive investigative roles,” He added that “such arbitrary and selective action…. giving disproportionate and unwarranted attention to Sri Lanka, not only calls into question the credibility of the functioning of the OHCHR and OHCHR led processes, but also creates dangerous precedents, if left unchecked.”

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