Wednesday, 12 March 2014 - 7:49
"Is the Geneva Resolution the reward given for ending the war?" Minister Samarasinghe asks the international community.
Minister of Plantation Industries and Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe, who is currently attending the 25th Sessions of the UN Human Rights Council briefed the Asia-Pacific Regional Group of Member and Observer States at the UNHRC in Geneva.
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Minister Samarasinghe informed the Group about the progress achieved in Sri Lanka, not only during the immediate aftermath of the armed conflict in 2009 but during the ensuing 5-year period.
He emphasized that Sri Lanka had continued to engage with the international community throughout this period and had shared information relating to achievements as well as considerable challenges faced and overcome in addition to the current and future challenges faced by the country in moving towards reconciliation.
Some of these included resettlement of displaced persons, reconstruction of infrastructure, restoration of civilian administration, restoration of democratic institutions in the former theatre of conflict and rehabilitation of ex-combatants in addition to the overall objective of generating economic growth and prosperity.
He outlined the progress made with regard to reconciliation, especially with regard to the implementation of the National Plan of Action to Implement the Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission as well as the National Action Plan for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
In light of the clear commitment shown by Sri Lanka to move towards comprehensive reconciliation in such a brief span of time, Minister Samarasinghe queried whether such a nation should be rewarded by Resolutions such as that currently before the Human Rights Council.
Such an initiative, he said, was not representative of the principle and practice of constructive engagement among countries.
He said other countries should understand and appreciate that this type of selective targeting was not only of concern to Sri Lanka but should be of wider concern to other states as well.
He called upon Members of the Asia-Pacific Regional Group to make it their common objective to defeat such initiatives.