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Sri Lanka rejects proposal for OHCHR country office and deadline

Sri Lanka today rejected key proposals made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, including a call to establish an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Sri Lanka.

Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana told the UN Human Rights Council today that Sri Lanka does not believe there is justification for the setting up of an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Sri Lanka.

He also said that pressing for time bound benchmarks to show quick results on decades old, sensitive and complex issues, is bound for failure.

The Foreign Minister said that as a sovereign state, Sri Lanka must set its priorities in addressing the well-being and sustainable peace for her people, as a sovereign state.

The Foreign Minister expressed these views during the debate on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today.

“Sri Lanka must set its priorities in addressing the well-being and sustainable peace for her people, as a sovereign state. Various historical, cultural, and religious sensitivities therefore need to be managed while pursuing the ultimate objective of upholding and protecting human rights. Sri Lanka’s engagement and close cooperation with this Council and with all other human rights mechanisms derive indeed from political will and pledges by the Government in 2015 to the people of Sri Lanka, to build the nation’s future guaranteeing equal rights, justice and dignity for all citizens respecting and celebrating the diversity of the nation as a united and prosperous country,” the Foreign Minister said.

He said that Sri Lanka, will however, welcome further capacity building, particularly training for judicial, prosecutorial, and investigation officers, in enhancing specialized skills in their respective areas and further improving the functions and credibility of the ongoing local processes.

Courtesy: Colombo Gazette

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