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Sri Lanka rejects criticism by Germany, US and Ireland

Exercising its right of reply at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Sri Lanka refuted comments made by Germany, the US and Ireland on Tuesday.

The Sri Lankan speaker said,

"My delegation finds it disconcerting to keep noting the said allegations, particularly when the Council has been continuously sensitized to the action taken on the very same issues."

See here for full statement by Sri Lanka. Extract reproduced below:

"My delegation is equally dismayed by the lack of objectivity displayed by Germany with reference to Sri Lanka in their statement which has chosen to ignore the concrete steps taken by the Government to achieve comprehensive reconciliation within the context of the LLRC, including to investigate atrocities alleged to have been committed at the end of the terrorist conflict in 2009"

"We are surprised that the US should declare that 'Sri Lanka should set visit dates and provide access for relevant special rapporteurs' when my delegation has updated the Council twice in the current session with regard to its proactive engagement with special procedures mandate holders and the invitations it has extended in this regard."

"The Government of Sri Lanka also rejects the suggestion of excessive use of force by the military against peaceful protestors."

"As for the concerns expressed regards violence against religious minorities, it may be noted that all people living in Sri Lanka enjoy freedom of religion which is a constitutionally guaranteed right."

"Regrettably incidents involving citizens of two religions, have been inappropriately used by interested parties to portray as a religious minority issue"

"As for Ireland, while denying the allegation of human rights violations against prisoners detained in connection with terrorist activity, it may be noted that the treatment of those incarcerated in connection with the conflict is subject to judicial scrutiny. Also, their legal representatives and family members, as well as the National Human Rights Commission and the ICRC have free access to all those in custody. Infact Consular access has been consistently provided to the Irish Embassy accredited to Sri Lanka with regard to an Irish national who was in detention for links with the LTTE as confessed, and is now under rehabilitation following a judicial process."

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