Mar 22, Geneva: Sri Lanka today reaffirming its commitment to the reconciliation process and commitments articulated in the UN Resolution 30/1 it cosponsored in 2015, announced that it will be co-sponsoring UN resolution 34/1 which will grant Sri Lanka two more year to implement the 30/1 proposals.
Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva delivering a statement at the at Interactive Dialogue at the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva today announced that Sri Lanka will be co-sponsoring the Resolution, and thanked the Council, the UN, and Sri Lanka's bilateral partners for their support to strengthen reconciliation in Sri Lanka, and for the extension of the timeline.
The UN resolution 34/1 "Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka" is sponsored by Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America.
Deputy Minister Dr. de Silva recalled that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Mangala Samaraweera addressed the Council on the 28th of February on behalf of the Government, and outlined what have been achieved in terms of Resolution 30/1 and beyond, what still remains to be done, and the challenges that Sri Lanka face in the process.
"We work closely with the High Commissioner and his Office and we are committed to continuing this constructive and meaningful engagement for the benefit of all our people," he said.
"The views, observations and recommendations of the High Commissioner are useful, as we work to strengthen, promote, and protect human rights, good governance, and the rule of law in Sri Lanka," Dr. de Silva added.
Reminding the Council that the people of Sri Lanka have been through extremely difficult and painful times, the Deputy Minister said although much has been done, there is much still left to do, including strengthening the institutions and achieving economic progress.
"There are multiple challenges that we face. But, as a responsible and committed Government, under the leadership of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, we are determined to stay the course. We will listen to all, we will study all reports carefully, we will exchange information, share our concerns and comments, engage constructively and meaningfully with our partners, and take the necessary steps required to ensure that Sri Lanka is a nation that is prosperous, united in its diversity, upholding human rights, justice, and the rule of law," the Deputy Foreign Minister said.
"We remain firm in our resolve to enhance the fundamental rights of all citizens as equals in a free and democratic country, where fear and intimidation have no place. We are committed to the reconciliation agenda including truth, reparations, justice and non-recurrence with a victim-centered approach, recognizing the impact of conflict on all our citizens, irrespective of their communities of origin, gender, social status, age and other identities."
The Minster said as Sri Lanka goes through the complex process of establishing new mechanisms, the government is considering the Report of the Consultation Task Force, and will continue to consult with all segments of the society. "We will also seek international expertise and assistance, as all countries do, when they undertake such responsibilities," he said.
"We request the support of all Council Members and Observers to help Sri Lanka succeed in this transformative and challenging agenda that we have undertaken, including economic development that plays an important role in ensuring the success of the reconciliation agenda," Deputy Minister Dr. de Silva said.