The content of the resolution which was brought at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in 2015 was the road map provided by the Sri Lankan Government. It should not be taken as something forced upon on us by the international community, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera told a highly packed media briefing in Colombo on Thursday.
“The international community recognized not only the newly elected regime in 2015, but also the national programme which we drafted for achieving national reconciliation. They, at the UNHRC, not only supported, but also made their recommendations,” Minister Samaraweera said. He also said that it was the same resolution to be co-sponsored by Sri Lanka at the UNHRC and the Government had also asked for an extension of two years to implement the locally made road map.
He also said that they had no provisions under the existing Constitution, to bring international judicial officers for a so-called hybrid court. He further said that there were ways and means to follow the recommendations by the international community in a local setting. The Minister said that the fact had already been admitted by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein himself.
Quoting the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, al Hussein’s speech in Sri Lanka during his visit, Minister Samaraweera said that the High Commissioner had stated that there could be variations on how the recommendations of the resolution were implemented. “As a sovereign nation we are entitled to look at all possible options and allowed to explore our own ways,” the Minister said.
He also said that political parties such as the Tamil National Alliance or any other individuals or organizations were allowed to bring their proposals and avenues are plenty for significant and agreeable proposals on reconciliation.
The Minister also severely criticized former diplomat Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka and retired Major General Kamal Gunaratne for making some “statements unhealthy for the country” at a public gathering recently. He also quoted some paragraphs from Major Gunaratne’s book ‘Road to Nandikadal’ and questioned how he justified “illegal attacks” which took place and of which he was a part of. He also chastised the Rajapaksa family (members of the family of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa) for looting, thuggery, abductions, assassinations, bad administration practices and a litany of other things.