Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Plantation Industries and Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights, briefed the countries representing the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on the current situation in Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday.
The Minister informed the Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors of the steps taken to ensure progress in Sri Lanka towards reconciliation and peace building in the aftermath of the armed conflict.
The Minister outlined the constitutional protection of the freedom of thought conscience and religion as well as the right to manifest a person’s religion in Sri Lanka.
He said Sri Lanka has long been a multi-religious, multi-lingual and multicultural society in which diversity is celebrated and perceived as a source of strength in the forging of a true national identity.
Minister Samarasinghe, called on the OIC countries to show solidarity with Sri Lanka in defeating the politically motivated attempts to initiate an international inquiry mechanism under the guise of an investigation to be carried out by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Minister said the current resolution also violates fundamental principles such as non-selectivity, objectivity, non-intervention which underlie international institutions such as the Human Rights Council.