Amidst Sri Lanka’s ongoing economic collapse, Britain’s High Commissioner, Sarah Hulton, met with Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Prime Minister, Dinesh Gunawardene and discussed a range of topics, including constitutional reform, trade, and the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Glad to meet @DCRGunawardena to wish him well in the role of PM. Discussed the UNHRC process, prospects for constitutional & economic reforms, as well as avenues for strengthening - relations in the fields of education, culture, and trade & investment. pic.twitter.com/FzQCaTPlgX
— Sarah Hulton OBE (@SarahHultonFCDO) August 4, 2022
Gunawardene, having previously served as foreign secretary, is a staunch opponent of the latest UNHRC resolution, describing it as “unwarranted, unjustified”, and “illegal”. The resolution mandated the collection and preservation of evidence which may be used in a future war crimes tribunal. He also has a record of defending war criminals such as Chief of Defence Staff, Shavendra Silva.
The meeting follows a wide-ranging speech by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe which detailed his future plans for constitutional reform, which involved devolving power away from the presidency, and a series of economic reforms, such as taking state assets into private ownership.