Education Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris who criticised the previous government’s dealings with the UNHRC in Parliament said evidence of highest value had been disregarded if it was favourable to the Sri Lankan armed forces.
He said such evidence was ferreted out with great difficulty by Lord Naseby in the House of Lords and other eminent personages.
Making his remarks during a recent parliamentary debate on the vote of the Foreign Ministry, Prof. Peiris, who also served as the External Affairs Minister in the past, said there was every reason for Sri Lankans to entertain great misgivings about the application of the principle of fairness by the UN system at that time.
He cited the dispatches by the ‘trusted members of the foreign countries’ to their capitals as an example exonerating Sri Lankan armed forces of any culpability or guilt.
Referring to the principle of fairness as an instinct embedded in human nature, he said evidence had to be weighed in the balance and conclusions arrived at without bias or pre-judgment.
“The entire edifice of the UN system is based upon one principle. That is sovereignty and equality of nations. That principle is illustrated amply by the seminal instruments of the UN system such as the UN Charter, the declaration of human rights, jurisprudence of the international court of justice,” he said.
He said all the countries were equal in the eyes of the UN and there could be no discrimination whatsoever .He also said there was no scope whatsoever for talking down, hectoring, patronizing attitudes.
“This is not to be misunderstood. Counsel of friends, sharing of experience and suggestions made in a spirt of goodwill are always welcome. What is absolutely ruled out is judgmental postures in respect of the internal process of decision making,” he said. (Kelum Bandara)