Minister Dilan Perera, special envoy to Namibia said Sri Lanka would not accept any ‘country-specific’ resolutions by the U.N., because such resolutions are aimed at targeting specific countries for narrow political reasons.
Sri Lanka’s Minister for Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare, Dilan Perera, was referring to U.S. plans to sponsor a third resolution on Sri Lanka’s human rights record at the U.N. Human Rights Council next month in Geneva, Switzerland. Sri Lanka faces immense international pressure over alleged human rights violations during its 2009 military campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers), an independent militant organisation which fought to create an independent Tamil state called Tamil Eelam in the north and the east of the island nation. Following a 26-year military campaign, the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, bringing the civil war to an end.
“There is a resolution by the United States of America on Sri Lanka on the Human Rights Council, we cannot accept it because they are using the human rights mechanism to target specific countries for narrow political reasons,” Perera told a Namibian media delegation after meeting President Hifikepunye Pohamba at State House yesterday morning.
When asked to state Namibia’s position on the matter, the deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peya Mushelenga said, “As you have seen he [Perera] just brought a message on that particular issue to the president. The message came to the president and he will pronounce himself on the matter.”
Perera said Sri Lanka will always respect UN resolutions, but they must not be country specific, especially in forums like the UN Human Rights Council. Every four-and-a-half-years a universal periodic review is conducted by the Human Rights Council to review the human rights practices of all UN member states.
During the meeting Perera handed president Pohamba a document sent from Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Perera said country specific resolutions, as in the case of Sri Lanka, are against the UN principle of cooperation, dialogue and understanding. “Sri Lanka fully supports the UN system and we feel it must on multilateral affairs, rather than use the UN label to target specific countries,” he said.
He also revealed that during the closed-door meeting with president Pohamba, they discussed some issues that might come up during next month’s meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. “Namibia understands the progress Sri Lanka is making in this regard, and your leader [Pohamba] saw it for himself when he was there during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting,” he said. (New Era)