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SL in email row with US in Geneva

24 February 2012 01:58 am - 5     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In what appeared to be another diplomatic row with the United States, Sri Lanka’s permanent mission in Geneva has written to member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) alerting them against an email purported to have originated from the US mission to the UN seeking support for the resolution on Sri Lanka.

According to Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Geneva Ms. Tamara Kunanayagam the email had given the impression that Sri Lanka had closely worked with the US in drafting the resolution on Sri Lanka to be presented at the 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Ambassador Kunanayagam has informed the 47-member countries in writing that that the US tried to create the impression in an email that it 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. This e-mail creates the impression that diplomatic officials of the US have been in close contact with the Government of Sri Lanka, as well as this Mission, to work, ‘collaboratively on issues of accountability (in Sri Lanka) and the implementation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’s Report’. It goes on to express the hope that ‘the Sri Lankan Government will work with us on this Resolution’. It obliquely canvasses the position of a co-sponsorship of a Resolution and conveys a false impression that Sri Lanka is working with the United States on this Resolution,” 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 on 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. (Kelum Bandara reporting from Geneva)

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  Comments - 5

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  • Dinesh Friday, 24 February 2012 09:05 AM

    UNHRC is a different story unlike the UNSC, we can win, just like the other time.

    Saskia Friday, 24 February 2012 09:07 AM

    Don't forget that many western countries are against SL, so where ever you go, you will have to face this. It is not easy anymore to get out of it.

    Gaja Banda Friday, 24 February 2012 11:00 AM

    These countries kept a deaf ear during the 30 or so years of atrocities committed by the LTTE.

    Yet they talk about human rights violations whilst continuing to destabilize the Middle East.

    What a bunch of hypocrites...

    jana Friday, 24 February 2012 11:25 AM

    The hope is the remnants of the Non-Align movement who stood with us last year (Cuba and others) and will hopefully stand by us again, but all in all a very diplomatic response by our staff.

    Nodrog Friday, 24 February 2012 07:03 AM

    very few countries will have the guts to take our side against the US. Even the UN is dictated to by the US so what hope do we have?


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