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* Member states of UN body under political pressure to vote against Sri Lanka - envoy
Mon, Mar 24, 2014, 01:51 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 24, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government says that the member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) are under "political pressure" to vote against the resolution on Sri Lanka that was tabled by the United States, Great Britain and few other countries.

Sri Lankan President's Human Rights Envoy and Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said there was a 'division' among the members of the 47-member UN right body over the resolution against Sri Lanka which calls for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to launch an independent international investigation into the alleged violations of human rights and humanitarian laws.

Samarasinghe, who just returned to the island after addressing regional groups of the UNHRC in Geneva, said the apparent division is a victory to the country.

"We can clearly see a division among members. This itself I view as a triumph for us. This was because we could convince some of them with our progress achieved since the war ended," he was quoted in media.

The Sri Lankan envoy said most of the members are pressured by the U.S. to vote in favor of the resolution and there was no environment t for them to make an independent decision.

However, Sri Lanka made its opposition clear, he said, adding that the U.S. resolution would create a bad precedent.

He said if the action of few nations to allow, it will be another country tomorrow after Sri Lanka.

The Minister said if it was allowed making it possible for the UN Human Rights Commissioner to set up an international inquiry, it will be carried out without any kind of fairness.

The Minister, speaking to the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on the sidelines of the 25th Session of the UNHRC, told them the resolution being moved by the US, UK and a few other countries against Sri Lanka was a fight on a matter of principle and that Sri Lanka would not compromise on it.

He noted that what is happening to Sri Lanka today, could happen to any other NAM country tomorrow.

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