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Thursday, 22 March 2012 - 13:31
Foreign Ministry still in hope.
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The voting session for the United States resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC Session in Geneva will commence around 2.00p.m local time.

Reports states that the voting will kick start the agenda for today at the UN Human Rights Council Sessions in Geneva.

Member states will be granted the opportunity to express their stance subsequent to the resolution being presented for debates today.

Reports also added that during this session the Sri Lankan delegation will also be granted the opportunity express their views in this concern.

Accordingly, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe will speak on behalf of Sri Lanka subsequent to which the voting sessions will begin.

Our news team made inquiries from the Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Karunathilaka Amunugama with regard to the support Sri Lanka could expect to receive from the member nations at the United Nations Human Rights Council Sessions in Geneva.

In response to our queries the Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Karunathilaka Amunugama expressed these views…

Meanwhile, the Australian Senate expressed concerns over the human rights situation in Sri Lanka in a motion to call on the Australian government, to back a United States sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka.

The motion moved in the Australian Senate by Senator Lee Rhiannon, Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Senator Gary Humphries said that the LLRC report contains constructive proposals for advancing reconciliation and reconstruction that includes reducing the presence of security forces in the North, care of internally displaced persons and media freedoms.

Senator Rhiannon has also said that the Australian Government has consistently urged Sri Lanka to investigate all allegations of crimes committed by both sides to the conflict, including those raised in the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts report.

Meanwhile, UK Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Douglas Alexander and three Labour party leaders hailed the US resolution on Sri Lanka and urged all council members to support the resolution at the United Nations Human Right Council in Geneva.

Former cabinet ministers and current Members of Parliament, David Miliband, Jack Straw and Margaret Beckett stated in a joint statement that if the US resolution is implemented it would be an important first step in ensuring long-lasting peace.

They indicated that this resolution is not only vital to the prospects of peace and stability but is also a litmus test of the international community's resolve to protect international law and reaffirm respect for human rights.

U.S. ambassador in Sri Lanka from 1992-1995 Teresita C. Schaffer has said that the US proposed resolution has deepened the rift between Colombo and Washington and that the Obama administration must broaden its dialogue beyond Geneva.

She added that the resolution may not have much impact on the reconciliation process that is so critical for Sri Lanka's future but for the sake of Sri Lanka, the region and indeed Washington, it is important that reconciliation actually takes place.

She also added that human rights have had a high profile in US-Sri Lankan relations for at least three decades and only since the end of the long civil war in 2009, however, have human rights and war crimes issues come to dominate the relationship.

In a special statement made to the Hindu newspaper the former ambassador added that the resolution itself is bland with a bottom line of urging Sri Lanka to implement the “constructive recommendations” advanced by the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission.

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