Sri Lanka’s former foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera has been excluded from the government body tasked with implementing the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution on promoting accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.
A Cabinet Memorandum obtained by Colombo Telegraph, indicates that Sri Lanka’s prime minister proposed the following ministers to form the committee under his leadership:
- Ravi Karunanayake, Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister of Ports & Shipping
- Sagala Ratnayaka, Minister of Law & Order and Southern Development
- Dr Wijayadasa Rajapaksa, Minister of Justice
- Thilak Marapone, Minister of Development Assignments
- Harsha de Silav, Deputy Minister of National Policies & Economic Affairs
According to Colombo Telegraph, when asked why he hadn’t been included in the committee, Mangala Samaraweera said he had to deal with work required at his new posting as Minsiter of Finance.
Speaking to the newspaper on condition of anonymity, a cabinet member said,
“This whole scenario tells us what direction Wickremsinghe wants Sri Lanka to take regarding reconciliation and implementing the UNHRC resolution. With regard to Wickremsinghe’s committee, apart from Harsha de Silva, everyone else in the committee named by the Prime Minister are against the implantation of the UNHRC recommendations.”
Mangala Samaraweera is seen by many commentators as the main driving force in getting Sri Lanka to co-sponsor the UNRHC resolution that sought to seek genuine accountability through an international justice mechanism, reconciliation and non-recurrence of atrocities on the island.
During periods where several senior members of Sri Lanka's government publically reneged on commitments made to the UN, Mr Samaraweera consistently spoke to the international making assurances that the Sri Lanka's commitments to the UN would be implemented.
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