While derailing investigations into all war crimes and human rights abuses during the final phase of war, President Maithripala Sirisena, addressing the 73th session of the UNHRC, urged the world to look at Sri Lanka ‘with a fresh pair of eyes’.
President Sirisena has openly ordered the Police to refrain from arresting top ranking military officers over killings and abductions that took place under the previous government.
Just two weeks before he addressed the UN General Assembly, Sirisena berated IGP Pujith Jayasundara and top officers of the CID for attempting to arrest Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne over killings and abductions of 11 youth.
He called upon the international community to look at Sri Lanka from a fresh perspective and consider the “tremendous progress” made by his government towards reconciliation, restoration of democratic freedom, human rights and the rule of law.
Sirisena also pleaded world leaders to extend the fullest support to build a progressive, democratic, free and equal society.
He also said Sri Lanka was taking action to consolidate peace and forge ahead to develop the economy, and such a nation deserves the support and understanding of the international community.
“I urge the international community to allow Sri Lankan people to solve their problems on their own,” he said.
“As an independent country we do not want any foreign power to exert influence on us. We want to appeal to the international community to give us the room to resolve the problems that we are facing so that the right of the Sri Lankan people to find solutions to their problems is respected, ” he added.
The President said that the government was also working to eliminate fear and suspicion among different communities.
“if a man is pierced with a dart, he will suffer physical pain. When he worries about it, he suffers more pain. Hence, there are two kinds of pains suffered by the man. When it comes to Sri Lanka, it is the people who suffered pain due to war and they continue to feel pain when they think about it. Therefore, I take this opportunity to call upon your support and cooperation, ” he added.
Sirisena’s speech failed to address any of the human rights concerns raided by international organizations , including the UN, over Sri Lanka.