In what appeared to be another diplomatic row between the United States and Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s permanent mission in Geneva has written to member states against the US propaganda that Sri Lanka had closely worked with the US in drafting the resolution against the country at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Geneva Mrs. Tamara Kunanayagam has informed the 47 member countries in writing that the Mission of the United States to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva had sought support from other countries to pass this resolution against Sri Lanka.
Mrs. Kunanayagam said in writing to the member states that the US tried to create the impression in that letter that the United States had been in close contact with the government of Sri Lanka and the country’s mission in Geneva to work collaboratively on issues of accountability and the implementation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
“It has been brought to our attention that an e-mail dated February 21, purporting to have originated from the Mission of the United States to the United Nations and other International Organisations at Geneva, signed by one Miriam Shahrzard Schive has been sent to Member States of the Human Rights Council and Diplomatic Missions in Geneva. It seeks support for a resolution on Sri Lanka supposedly sponsored by the United States, which is to be presented to the Human Rights Council Sessions in March,” she said in her letter to the heads of missions of member states.
She said, “Sri Lanka categorically states that at no time has the Government or its Mission in Geneva, ever worked with representatives of the United States on any Resolution whatsoever. It is inaccurate and misleading to seek to create such an impression that Sri Lanka was consulted, has cooperated or in any other manner been part of such a process. Indeed, Sri Lanka has started on the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC, among other initiatives to secure peace, prosperity and reconciliation for our people, in the aftermath of the thirty year conflict against separatist terrorism. We have consistently maintained that it is unnecessary, unhelpful and counterproductive to bring any resolution concerning this matter barely two months after the publication of the LLRC Report and more particularly in the context of implementation of its recommendations.
It is unfortunate that such an unethical distortion of the true position has been resorted to by interested parties who can only be pursuing some parallel agenda, seeking to achieve some collateral gain, given Sri Lanka’s commitment to engage constructively with its partners, its forthrightness in discussing issues pertaining to post conflict recovery and the realisation of positive developments within its territory pertaining to reconciliation and development. By (Kelum Bandara reporting from Geneva)