Sri Lanka opposes U.S. resolution at UNHRC but open to “specific assistance”Souce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 15/02/2013 5:05 am in World / no comments
COLOMBO, Feb. 14 — Sri Lanka will continue to oppose the U.S.-backed resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) later this month but would accept assistance to address specific post-war reconciliation issues, a top official said here on Thursday.
Last month the U.S. announced that a second resolution on Sri Lanka would be presented at the UNHRC sessions that start from February 25, saying the Sri Lankan government had failed to implement key reconciliation and human rights measures since the end of the war in 2009.
However, the Sri Lankan government has vehemently denied the claim, insisting that they had addressed many of the demining, resettlement and rehabilitation work that could be achieved in the past four years.
Cabinet spokesman and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella speaking to media insisted that the U.S. resolution is against the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and that the government stands ready to oppose it at the upcoming sessions.
“If the U.S. or any other country wants to offer specific assistance to address a issue related to reconciliation then we will agree, for example we have accepted help from a range of countries including Norway and Japan on demining former conflict affected areas,” he said.
Rambukwella refuted charges that the government was dragging its feet on implementing recommendations made by a key accountability body appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa titled the “Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.”
“We published our Action Plan regarding the recommendations, which are divided into short term, medium term and long term goals. We have completed many of the short term projects such as rehabilitating over 11,000 former Tamil Tiger carders, resettled over 200,000 people and demined most of the habited areas,” he stressed.
Sri Lanka failed to prevent a resolution passed on it during the UNHRC sessions in 2012 which was also tabled by the U.S.
Meanwhile Canada and Britain have already agreed to support the U.S. resolution.