Samarasinghe admits failure to implement 2009 resolution
August 27, 2015 06:15 pm
President Maithripala Sirisena took the initiative to revive Sri Lanka’s connections with countries that had distanced itself from the island nation and he managed to win the trust of the world’s most powerful countries within a short span, says Mahinda Samarasinghe.
“Our foreign policy should be one that benefits our country. We should think about our country’s journey and not others,” the former Minister told reporters in Colombo.
Samarasinghe, who also served as Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, stated that Sri Lanka can benefit the most when it acts in a friendly manner with all other nations.
Referring to the statement made by the visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal, the former Minister said that he sees the “positive” comments as a great “strength” to the country.
Biswal had stated yesterday that the US backs Sri Lanka’s domestic investigation into allegations of human right violations during the final stages of the war and that the US will be offering a resolution supporting Sri Lanka at the September session of the Human Rights Council.
Samarasinghe conceded that the former government failed to implement the resolution on assistance to Sri Lanka in promotion and protection of human rights, which was adopted at the UNHRC in 2009.
“We couldn’t properly implement the resolution which was passed in 2009. We have to admit that. If we had properly implemented that resolution, it would have been difficult to bring the resolutions in 2012 and 2013.”
“However, we have been given another opportunity,” he said.
Samaraweera stated that if a resolution supporting a domestic investigation in Sri Lanka is in fact tabled at the UN Human Rights Council and is passed, then Sri Lanka should be obligated to implement the resolution as well because there will be “no more chances.”
“We did not take the maximum advantage from the chance given in 2009. Now if the next resolution is a similar one, then we should prepare to establish an impartial, neutral, domestic mechanism.”
He stated that the domestic mechanism should build the trust between communities of all religions and that the recommendations of the international inquiry will also have to be taken into consideration if Sri Lanka wishes to continue winning the trust of the international community.