29 September, 2020

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Full Text: Sri Lanka’s Response At UNHRC Today

By Colombo Telegraph

We publish below the statement made by Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Plantation Industries and Special Envoy of the President of Sri Lanka on Human Rights, Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation at the Adoption of the Report of the UPR Working Group today, March 15, 2013 at the 22nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Statement at the Adoption of the Report of the UPR Working Group

by

Hon. Mahinda Samarasinghe M.P.

Minister of Plantation Industries and

Special Envoy of H.E. the President of Sri Lanka

on Human Rights

Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation

22nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

Geneva

15 March 2013

Mr President,

Mahinda Samarasinghe

My delegation and I join you this morning with a deep sense of satisfaction. November 2012 saw Sri Lanka face its second UPR and we were able to lay before the working group, our progress since 2008 and the expectations for future improvements in the promotion and protection of human rights, going forward. We have come a long way since the initial Universal Periodic Review of Sri Lanka during the first cycle in 2008. My country then was engaged in a conflict against terrorism – commencing in 2006 – trying to rescue a civilian population held by a ruthless group of terrorists. A year after that first review, we finally achieved success in the humanitarian operation and witnessed the dawn of a new era of peace, stability and prosperity for all Sri Lankans. Since May 2009 we engaged in a period of consolidation, removing military involvement in civil administration, reconstruction, demining, rehabilitation, resettlement and launched our initial efforts at national reconciliation and peace-building.

Mr President, the UPR has been an event in which we have been able to periodically pause, take stock, reflect and share with our friends in the Human Rights Council our achievements, challenges and determination to move forward. The interest and level of participation in the UPR of Sri Lanka is also sincerely appreciated. We noted that a clear majority of the countries that engaged in the UPR last November acknowledged our progress. Some of the countries that did so also pointed out the challenges that we faced. We were able to take up some of the constructive recommendations made and we also made voluntary commitments.

To sum up, Mr President, Sri Lanka received a total of 204 recommendations during the second cycle of its UPR held last November. At the adoption of the report in the Working Group, Sri Lanka accepted 110 recommendations and following further examination, Sri Lanka decided to support a further 3 recommendations, bringing the total number of recommendations enjoying our support to 113.

Another 91 recommendations do not enjoy the support of Sri Lanka. Our position on the recommendations we were unable to support are clearly set out in the Addendum to the Report of the Working Group A/HRC/22/16/Add.1. The Addendum further clarifies and elaborates Sri Lanka’s stance on some of the recommendations emanating from the Review. These recommendations have been duly noted and Sri Lanka will endeavour to address these issues through relevant national policies and programmes. In addition, Sri Lanka has also made 19 voluntary commitments.

In this context, I must point out that Sri Lanka has accepted the 12 recommendations specifically referring to the National Action Plan for the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), which is our mechanism to implement the recommendations of the LLRC. It is perhaps unfortunate that we were unable to agree to more refinements and modifications in the text of some recommendations in order to achieve a consensus that could have led to the acceptance of more recommendations. It is our belief that the level of flexibility that characterized our experience in 2008, is preferable to the rigid textual formality that appears to govern the UPR at present.  The UPR is an inter-governmental process that is based on cooperation and constructive engagement.

I would also briefly allude to some of the positive developments since November. Much of the salutary achievements are also referred to in our national statement to the High Level Segment of the 22nd Session at the end of February.

As I stated on that occasion, the Government of Sri Lanka has also made requisite financial provision by budgetary allocation for 2013 for the implementation of the National Action Plan on the Implementation of the recommendation of the LLRC. Over Rs. 1.2 billion, has been committed to funding the various activities. Our progress in the process of implementation is openly shared with anyone interested by way of publication on the web. This is the level of commitment we have shown.

We have consolidated our gains in resettlement. Our achievement is, perhaps, unparalleled given the short period in which  progress was accomplished.

In the overall process of accountability which was the subject of some interventions during the working group session, the first issue that must be addressed is that of the arbitrary figures of so-called civilian victims. These figures have been repeated by several sources without once verifying the facts. This is why our national census of 2012 and the enumeration in the North preceding it in 2011 were of such importance. Ground verification of facts is continuing into the results of these processes. We believe we will be able to gain an accurate picture of the several causes of civilian deaths.

A Cabinet Memorandum titled “Assistance and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Bill” was submitted by the Ministry of Justice and was taken up for policy approval at the Meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on 07 February 2013. It was decided to obtain the views of the Attorney General on this matter to aid in the deliberations of the Cabinet.

Subsequent to the recommendations of the LLRC, the Attorney-General reviewed the cases relating to the five (5) students from Trincomalee and of the Action Contre La Faime (ACF) workers. Having concluded the work on the five sudents from Trincomalee, the Attorney-General has directed the Police to commence Non-Summary Judicial proceedings. The review with regard to the ACF case is also ongoing.

Also on the question of accountability, inquiries are in train by the military authorities as to questions of civilian casualties during the humanitarian operation including the Channel 4 video footage irrespective of its authenticity.

Further to the recommendation of the LLRC, the database on detainees is available to next of kin (NoK) who are able to obtain details in response to their inquiries. The investigations into those allegedly disappeared are ongoing through national mechanisms.

As we have regularly informed this Council, the National Plan of Action for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (NHRAP), was a commitment that grew out of our initial Review in 2008. That was a principal pledge we made and one that we spent considerable time and effort in realizing. December 2012 marked the first year of implementation of the NHRAP. We are currently engaged in an evaluation of the first year and will shortly publish our progress. The NHRAP was conceived of as an overarching measure to consolidate our gains and to systematically address the various issues and challenges in the field of human rights.

We will now have to conceive of a national mechanism that will take into consideration the recommendations supported and pledges made consequent to the adoption of the Report before the Council on this occasion. We are confident that we can incorporate the outcome document into our national plans and programmes of action, so that, by 2017 when we next face a Review, that we will be able to demonstrate further advances in the promotion and protection of human rights for the benefit of the Sri Lankan people.

I reiterate what I said earlier that Sri Lanka is deeply appreciative of Member and Observer States for their interest and positive engagement during its UPR Process as well as their acknowledgement of our efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights. As with the UPR, Sri Lanka will continue its transparent, proactive and constructive engagement with the Human Rights Council and keep Member and Observer States informed of further developments in Sri Lanka in the field of promotion and protection of human rights.

I look forward to the engagement during the ensuing hour and expect a positive outcome that will accrue to the benefit of the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multicultural people of Sri Lanka.

Thank you for your attention.

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Latest comments

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    Utter lies.
    This man has sold his soul to the Rajapakse Junta,merely to survive with all perks and position.

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    The NGO.. That term is the Biggest Fraudulent claim as many of them are Heavily funded by Governments and Also Special Interest Groups.. When Someone Gives you Large amounts of money you will obviously represent that View point of the said donors.. To date No resolution on the Big Donor nations such as the west have been Brought by these socalled HR groups, and The LTTE western entity which gives huge volumes of donations, who once funded Weapons to carry out Terror in sri lankan along with their Tamil nadu backers are have now re organised themself as HR champions and meek lambs.. LANKANS there Never will be JUSTICE when YOU and You alone are PUNISHED… It was you My fellow Lankans who Faced the LTTE war zone in Every Part of this nation.. Who lost their loved ones, who had to peform the last rights Of the Finger of a child which the Suicide bomber who stole so viciously from you. Where IS YOUR Justice.. When the LTTE western Entity and the Tamil nadu politicians Who Trained, armed and Funded these Terrorist and MADE THIS NATIONS PEOPLE BLEED for 30 years… How They NOW reduce our Loved ones to SUB humans and cheapen the blood and the body parts of our Children weather they were Sinhala, muslim, Tamil and Bugher..which we all mourned as a nation together whilst they celebrated the blood as a Victory for the LTTE and their western entity. Never Lankans Forget Nevre Forget their Blind hate for you.. Never forget the Justice they are taking away from you. This is what they are doing today at the UNHCR.. There never will be reconciliation for you when they walk free smiling and laughing on Your Graves.. When they celebrate openly their LTTE terrorist leaders who every western LTTE entity and Tamil nadu politicians in their houses have built a shrine and burn a lamp to this day for killing Your Loved ones. There will Never be JUSTICE.. And we must never shame ourself until they are accounted for..

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      ponnudurai satyaseelan:

      Have you heard of 557 Foundation? What about “A Helping Hand USA”? These are among a long list of the NGOs that have tidied SL’s problems and lent a helping hand when needed. I am sad that you did not drown during the 2004 tsunami that swept across SL and other countries wreaking havoc on its path but unfortunately left the ungrateful you alive. Do you know how many NGOs helped during that tragedy. There are these rogue NGOs but you don’t have to paint all of them with the same brush. Incidentally, your President was charged for embezzling tsunami funds and some time ago Sarath N Silva, the former SL Chief Justice publicly mentioned that he helped MR in that case. What do you think of that?

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        @Jansee…what like the TRO?????? yes we all know what good work they did.. And Hey more than many NGO’s such as AI and HR watch it was European Foreigners who satyed and help bury the dead.. Foreigners who were on Holiday.. And Do you know what the TRO brought for the LTTE controlled ares apart from the Ammunition, Tin food which sell by f=date was 1995, Winter Jackets and yes moth eaten clothes…It was the Many Lankan companies and and Individuals in the south that collected and gave the Peoplein the LTTE held ares Aid.. and than god they didnt charge a Tax for those items.. One sinhala Guy from the army who helped with the effort to bring aid to LTTE held ares was given the Famous LTTE Gold coin. NOT he NGOs.. than later we found out how some criminal NGOs helped LTTE injured carders go to hospitals for treatment and not Tsunami victims..You fools dont know the facts

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          ponnudurai:

          Your forgot to mention how MR siphoned off the tsunami funds.

          BTW, do you have cataracts problems? Didn’t I mention the existence of rogue NGOs, and all I mentioned was that don’t bury your ostrich head into the sand – meaning don’t paint ALL the NGOs with the same brush? And, the fact that many Southerners have helped and contributed to tsunami victims is and should be appreciated with thanks and gratitude. That is the right and the human thing to do, where credit belongs. So, why are you getting so unceremoniously agitated?

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    2017 is not enough. Why not another 30 years.

  • 0
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    Surely you are not drunk, are you?

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    This was the same Minister who telephoned Dr. Manoharan, the father of one of the victims (Trincomalee 5) to plainly say to forget about the incident and that the regime would offer him a house. And this is the joker talking about human rights at the UNHRC. What a pity?

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    Learn to be men Sinhalese..You have arrested your own defence general, and raped innocent minor girls. Shame on you. We have never raped ny of your girls.

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    What a load of codswallop. This man is trying to buy time as usual by telling a pack of lies and giving commitments he knows his government will never keep. With time these allegations will fizzle out and that’s what his thinking is. There is a long history for this line of action or inaction in Sri Lanka – many commissions of inquiry reports never saw the light of day. The UNHRC, the NGOs, the US and the EU are well aware of this and action against Sri Lanka is needed without further delay.

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    This man is talking about progress since 2008. Is there a need? 99% of LLRC recommendations were implemented in 1 year. To implement the remaining 1% only one more year is needed. Should the UN be niggardly?

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    Dear Ponnudurai satyaseelan,
    As a Sinhala I am proud of you for supporting our nation. In fact, the decision to support our Nation at the expense of your race is unimaginable. In fact, I personally seen hundreds of your brothers and sisters, babies and elders were massacred in the daylight by thugs and our brave military just watched and enjoyed the burning of Tamils in Colombo street. You know I was in Jaffna during 1980s and I saw how our thugs and politicians and police got together to burn the Jaffna library into ashes. On the day of LTTE ambushed 13 Sinhala soldiers and on that afternoon our brave forces in spite of searching LTTE, they sprayed bullets dragging people from houses. You konw on the day light our soldiers asked a school bus and asked to getdown and stay in line they shot down all young children. I have no doubt in my mind that our soldiers killed thousands of innocent Tamilians in the no fire zone. We in the south experienced thousands of Sinhala brothers in mass graves. Don’t you know that Lasantha a best friend of President was murdered by some unknown thugs. You know who did this. Keep it within you, it is your best friend, not LTTE.

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      Dear Ajith I too was in Jaffna During the Burning of the Great Jaffna library.. and when i see your acciunts nodoubt you have been repeating the same roumours that sri lanka is famous for.. During may there were the DDC council elections where couple of ministers of the UNP visited jaffna, I will saw this time the LTTE was not Involved.. But it was PLOT who started the violence and against the TULF for accepting the DDC council elections and this stage TELO too was operative and many police was killed. It was the PLOT that set fire to the Jaffna library and not the LTTE or the Sri lankan Police.. Everyone who was there knew the truth as PLOT was on a rampage.. But when the killed the policemen thay too went on the rampage and there were pitched battle between PLOT and TELO members near the Jaffna library.. Now after this died down no one blamed the Lankan forces This rumour that dissanayake and he was alone who gave the orders to burn was picked by the Vast Tamils living outside and their propaganda machine came much later thanks to premadasa who at the time was trying to discredit dissanayake for the impeachment motion againt him.. Why do you think he didn’t blame C matthew the know sinhala racist???????.. These are the Facts…

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        ponnudurai satyaseelan

        ” It was the PLOT that set fire to the Jaffna library and not the LTTE or the Sri lankan Police.”

        Please publish your version of history keeping up with the tradition of Policeman’s book.

        I congratulate you for your ability to spin yarn and your unlimited capacity for vivid imagination.

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          @Native Vedda.. PROVE Me WRONG.. how can yOU I was ther to VOTE for the DDC.. you tell me what was Jaffna like on that day during the DDC council elections.anyone who was there Knows It was PLOT.. The LTTE wasn’t in the scene PLOT came to disrupt the DDC.. and then see when this tail of dissanayake and the SL police came out.. Much later in the 90’s.. Even prabarakaran didn’t mention the Lankan state as on that day he was battling the PLOT.. so prove me and my eyes wrong

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      @Ajith u said ‘You konw on the day light our soldiers asked a school bus and asked to getdown and stay in line they shot down all young children’ Really our soldiers did that Yes they went on a rampage in VVT.. But this bus story is very interesting as the very Night the soldiers were killed by the terrorist was JULY 23 1983 SATURDAY…..(BRAVO FOUR ZERO)GURUNAGUR.. THE NEXT DAY WAS A SUNDAY.. AND A CURFWE IN JAFFNA.. so tell me what SCHOOL BUS ARE YOU TALKING OF ON A SUNDAY 24 JULY 1983.. FORGET THW 4.00 AM CURFEW BUT THE SUNDAY…. YES WE CAN ALL SEE YOUR LIES BUT THE FACTS DONT TALLY WITH YOUS AND THE LTTE WESTERN ENTITY.. DO THEY.

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      @AJITH YOU BIG LIAR.. LEARN TO LIE FIRST.. u said ‘You konw on the day light our soldiers asked a school bus and asked to getdown and stay in line they shot down all young children’ Really our soldiers did that Yes they went on a rampage to HUNT down The MANY terrorist Not just the LTTE.. But this bus story is very interesting as the very Night the soldiers were killed by the terrorist was JULY 23 1983 SATURDAY…..(BRAVO FOUR ZERO)GURUNAGUR.. THE NEXT DAY WAS A SUNDAY.. AND A CURFWE IN JAFFNA.. so tell me what SCHOOL BUS ARE YOU TALKING OF ON A SUNDAY 24 JULY 1983.. FORGET THW 4.00 AM CURFEW BUT THE SUNDAY…. YES WE CAN ALL SEE YOUR LIES BUT THE FACTS DONT TALLY WITH YOUS AND THE LTTE WESTERN ENTITY.. DO THEY.

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    I wish the Minister, had presented the vision of the government for a Sri Lanka where all citizens are equal in every way in practice; diversity is accommodated; share political power; are not bedeviled by nepotism, bribery and corruption; are not the vassals of politicians; and are governed justly in accordance to the law and modern democratic norms.

    No government in Sri Lanka has espoused such a vision. JRJ in fact turned the concept of ‘Dharmishta ‘ governance he espoused on its head!

    Minister Samarasinghe’s speech is a meaningless report card, which calls for the student to be kept in the same class for four more years to get to the next grade! If he was espousing the need for time to get the child from the 4th to the 8th grade, he should have presented the curriculum for each grade and what the student has to score to get to the subsequent grade during the four years. It appears the curricula have been also tailored to ensure the child will get through the four years without having met all the standards required. The government has chosen to pick and choose the issues on which it proposes to act, without giving reasons why it has chosen not to act on others. The actions of the government in the past few years, rather point to a scenario where there will be further regression rather than progress. BBS and SH phenomenon are manifestations of what we could expect in the future.

    This speech is a reflection of the cat and mouse game being played in Geneva, than a genuine desire to make or get done, much needed changes in how this country is governed.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Mahinda Rajapakse regime was and is taking the whole world on a ride.
    Dictator Rajapakse has fooled all world leaders from Manmohan Singh through Ban Ki Moon to Barak Obama, by giving them false promises and never fulfilling them.
    During the peak of the war when the world was asking for restraint he said he wanted to get rid of the LTTE terrorists to give a solution at least acceptable to moderate Tamil politicians.
    Noe it is close to four years after the end of the war.
    Has he fulfilled his promises?
    The North is being vastly militarized. More military camps are opened and the civilians being denied their traditional home lands.
    Tamils women are being raped, abducted and disappeared.
    Tamil students are being tortured, taken into custody, their gatherings are disrupted.
    Many more human rights violations are happening there.
    Additionally, in the south, the Chief Justice was unjustly impeached, not even giving her right to defend herself.Rule of law has gone to the dogs. Sorry, I do not want to insult dogs. The rule of law has gone to “gankabarayas”.
    So, that is how Mahinda Samarasinghe’s leader, Rajapakse , is showing progress.
    Is the world ready, or still FOOLISH to believe this unruly Sri Lankan regime?

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    Dr. Rajasingham, isn’t that simply a pipe dream “where all citizens are equal in every way in practice ” ?

    Does it happen anywhere in the world in a different way to what is happening now in Sri Lanka ? In theory everyone is equal and the constitution say so but in practice the majority dominates…..doesn’t it ?

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    fat slob samarasinghe is a sinhala liar. he tried to pull the wool over the eyes of unhrc members. but he didn’t succeed. even the incentive to japan i mean the two baby elephants to vote against the resolution didn’t materialise. japan was not going to go against their key ally the united states. those who voted against the resolution are some pariah states like porkistan, some banana republics and communists. war crimes and genocide investigation have to start from 1948. rajapaksa instead of making false promises must honour his promises. this will be the basis for accountability and reconciliation and not building roads and bridges.

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    During the 2012 Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva,
    Mahinda Samarasinghe told India will vote for Sri Lanka.
    His voice cuts were carried in Indian radio and TV. Yet
    what he said did not come right. That time Tamil political
    parties in Tamil Nadu protested to the centre.

    This time, in March 2013, Samarasinghe had a lengthy diatribe
    about the integrity of High Commissioner Navaneethan Pillai.
    What happened? The Americans and their supporting countries
    full supported Pillay by praising her action in the resolution.

    For whom is Minister Samarasinghe working? He messed up matters
    on both sessions. They will send him for the third time also, so
    he may mess up further. Little wonder, Sri Lankan players always
    kick into their goals. G.L. Peiris did it. Samarasinghe has done
    it now.

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