Sri Lanka reached an important milestone in international relations this week after a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) draft resolution favourable to Sri Lanka was finalised, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
“Our representative in Geneva, along with the US representative and delegates from other countries agreed to co-sponsor the draft resolution. We are no longer in a cage, and we no longer have to face the pressures, as the world has accepted the fact that we are building a democratic society,” he said.
The Prime Minister expressed these views at the CIMA 50th Anniversary Dinner celebrations on Thursday, just one hour after the resolution was co-sponsored.
He said a special Judicial Commission named ‘Office of the Special Counsel’ subject to local laws and regulations would be set up to investigate allegations of human rights violations and promote reconciliation and accountability.
The Prime Minister said foreign expertise would be sought in specific areas.
“We will certainly obtain help not only from Sri Lankans but Commonwealth and foreign judges and lawyers. But it will have to be carried out under the Sri Lankan Constitution,” he added.
The final draft appears to have ended America's dilly-dallying as done in the past. It had earlier called for an international investigation and after the regime change in January backed a domestic inquiry prior to reverting to a domestic mechanism with significant foreign intervention.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said the world community had been informed of the government’s decision to carry out constitutional reforms.
“We have agreed on implementing a political solution and bringing in the necessary constitutional reforms. As such of the biggest issues facing our country in the past five to six years has been removed and we can face the future with confidence,” he said.
In a lighter vein, the Prime Minister threw a jab at Britain.
“One of those responsible is sitting here, the British High Commissioner,” he said and added that President Maithripala Sirisena had sent a message from New York to offset any fears about economic and political sanctions.
“His message from New York was to move ahead with economic efforts without fear and develop our businesses and create the one million jobs as promised,” the Prime Minister said. (Chandeepa Wettasinghe)