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Foreign minister officially pulls Sri Lanka out of resolution in Geneva

Sri Lanka’s foreign minister has officially announced the country’s decision to withdraw from co-sponsorship of the UN Human Rights Council resolutions ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’.

Speaking in Geneva on Wednesday, minister of foreign relations Dinesh Gunawardena criticised the previous government’s decision to co-sponsor Resolution 30/1 and subsequent resolutions.

“It remains to date a blot on the sovereignty and dignity of Sri Lanka,” he said.

The minister also laid into the allegedly “much flawed” OISL report which was used to “unjustly vilify the heroic Sri Lankan security forces”, while claiming that there was an “abundance of evidence to the contrary” in the domestic reports such as the LLRC and Paranagama Commission, and ‘information’ presented before the British House of Lords by Lord Naseby challenging the “vastly exaggerated” civilian casualty figures contained in the UN report. The domestic reports were widely criticised at the time of release and Lord Naseby’s ‘information’ soundly debunked shortly after he presented it in parliament.

The minister also made a connection between the resolution and the failures of intelligence leading to the Easter Sunday bombings.

“Most seriously, it is seen that the dictated changes in the country pursuant to 30/1, undermined the national interest and compromised national security, including weakening national intelligence operations and related safeguards, which are deemed to have contributed to the lapses that resulted in the Easter Sunday attacks in April 2019, which targeted churches and hotels, resulting in loss of life, including those of foreign nationals, which poses challenges to our government to restore national security.”

Gunawardena made the sensational claim despite the previous government failing to make any significant implementations of the resolution. He also highlighted that his predecessor [Mangala Samaraweera] had also questioned the resolution’s characterisation of the conflict, the number of civilian casualties claimed in the report and the allegations of culpability of the armed forces.

“It is in this context that I wish to place on record, Sri Lanka’s decision to withdraw from co-sponsorship of Resolution 40/1 on ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ which also incorporates and builds on preceding Resolutions 30/1 of October 2015 and 34/1 of March 2017,” the minister said.

See here for the minister's full statement.

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