Bangla Tuesday, April 07, 2020

SRI LANKAN CABINET APPROVES PROPOSAL TO WITHDRAW FROM UNHRC RESOLUTION

Cabinet has approved a proposal to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka.

Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardena told reporters Thursday that the proposal to withdraw from the resolution was tabled by Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

He said that cabinet was told that Resolution 30/1 and the followup Resolution 40/1 were harmful to Sri Lanka.

The Foreign Relations Minister has said that the resolution had been co-sponsored without the consent of then President Maithripala Sirisena.

As a result he sought cabinet approval to withdraw from the resolution and seek the support of the international community for the move.

The cabinet proposal by Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena states:

To announce Sri Lanka’s decision to withdraw from co-sponsorship of Resolution 40/1 of March 2019 on ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’, which also incorporates and builds on preceding Resolutions 30/1 of October 2015 and 34/1 of March 2017.

To continue to work with the UN and its agencies, including the regular human rights mandates/bodies and mechanisms and seek as required, capacity building and technical assistance, in keeping with domestic priorities and policies.

To declare the Government’s commitment to achieve sustainable peace through an inclusive, domestically designed and executed reconciliation and accountability process, including through the appropriate adaptation of existing mechanisms, in line with the Government’s policy framework. This would comprise the appointment of a Commission of Inquiry (COI) headed by a Justice of the Supreme Court, to review the reports of previous Sri Lankan COIs which investigated alleged violations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (IHL), to assess the status of implementation of their

recommendations and to propose deliverable measures to implement them keeping in line with the new Government’s policy.

To through due democratic and legal processes, address other outstanding concerns and to introduce institutional reforms where necessary, in a manner consistent with Sri Lanka’s obligations including the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda (SDGs). Demonstrate in good faith the policies rooted in the Government’s commitment to the people by advancing individual and collective rights and protections under the law, ensuring  justice and reconciliation and addressing the concerns of vulnerable sections of society.

To announce the intention of the GoSL to work towards the closure of the Resolution, in cooperation with the members of the UN.

Bandula Gunawardena said that the cabinet unanimously approved the proposal.

The Foreign Relations Minister also briefed Parliament today on the decision to withdraw from the resolution.