UNHRC cannot exert any adverse influence on country

Co-Cabinet Spokesman Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella yesterday stated that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) cannot exert any adverse influence on the country, such as the imposition of economic sanctions.

The Minister said that the majority of the members with Veto Power at the UN Security Council have given support to Sri Lanka.

The Minister further stated that the clear stance of Sri Lanka on the UNHRC Resolution has been announced and that a decision would soon be taken regarding the new team appointed by the UNHRC to investigate alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

He observed that there is a great deal of discrepancy between the correct information as well as the truth and the information received by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Responding to a question by a journalist at the weekly cabinet media briefing, Minister Rambukwella said that there is a big problem with providing credible information to the UNHRC, and there is a question as to how the OHCHR obtained the information.

However, the Minister said that preparations are being made to present the facts to the world in a very clear manner to beat the campaign of misinformation.

The Resolution titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” (A/HRC/46/L.1/Rev.1) was adopted by the 47-Member UNHRC with 22 votes in favour and 11 votes against on Tuesday. Fourteen Member States including India abstained from voting.

The UNHRC has no legally binding power over states and any action such as targeted sanctions, asset freezes and travel bans, which were recommended by the OHCHR report on Sri Lanka against perpetrators of alleged human rights violations, will depend on individual countries.

The budget estimate that goes along with the Resolution has made provision for a high-level human rights officer for enhanced monitoring of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.

The newly adopted Resolution includes, among other things, setting up of a mechanism to preserve evidence for prosecutions in the future. The mechanism will be handled by the OHCHR with a staff of 12 personnel.(DailyNews)

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