Sri Lanka to Withdraw from UNHRC

Keheliya Rambukwella

While concurring with the position that Sri Lanka should pull out from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena informing the UNHRC of the withdrawal from the co-sponsorship of Resolution 30/1 was the initial step in the process.

Rambukwella was responding to a journalist, who queried, at the weekly Cabinet Media briefing yesterday (17), why the Government doesn’t consider pulling out of the UNHRC, as they only get criticised by them. In response, Rambukwella said they have already started the procedure of pulling out of the UNHRC, by withdrawing from the co-sponsorship of Resolution 30/1.

Rambukwella also said, the Government does not agree with each and every allegation and criticism posed by the UNHRC and also that they are not ready to adhere to every recommendation that the UNHRC is proposing.

Meanwhile, addressing the National Ranaviru Day commemoration last May, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa expressed similar views that he would not hesitate to withdraw from any international body or organisation, if such entities continue to target the country and war heroes, using baseless allegations.

Criticising the UNHRC, Cabinet Co-Spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana yesterday pointed out that Sri Lanka’s Acting Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dayani Mendis has dismissed most of the baseless allegations made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. “Mendis has pointed out that the UNHRC allegations are baseless,” he said.

Meanwhile, at the same Media briefing, questions were also raised regarding the allegation made by Bachelet, that the Government is rapidly placing civilian State agencies under military control, to which Rambukwella said those military officials are skilled and that there are many benefits that can be obtained from them, apart from using them for a military purpose.

“The UNHRC is having their own personal agenda created by non-governmental organisations. That agenda worked well with the United National Front regime. But for us, we will resist it. We will not agree or shake our head to whatever they say,” he said.

(Source: Ceylon Today – By Thameenah Razeek)