Feb 19, Colombo: The government of Sri Lanka Wednesday confirmed that it has decided to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolutions 30/1 and 40/1 co-sponsored by the good governance government in 2015 and 2019 respectively.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa issuing a statement on the entry ban imposed by the United States on the Commander of Sri Lanka Army Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva and his family said the consensus UNHRC resolutions sponsored by the previous Yahapalana government allowed the Sri Lankan war heroes to be labeled as violators of human rights.
“Even though we are now in the 21st Century, even members of his family who have not been accused of any wrongdoing, have been subjected to a collective punishment reminiscent of the practice in medieval Europe,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the government has conveyed strong objection to the U.S. action and asked to the people to be judge on how fair it is.
The Premier said the Army Commander has been charged as a violator of human rights by other countries because of the historic betrayal committed by the Yahapalana government formed by the United National Party, the Tamil National Alliance and the JVP in co-sponsoring UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 in 2015.
Full Statement of Prime Minister Rajapaksa:
“The United States of America has prohibited the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva or members of his family from entering that country. Even though we are now in the 21st Century, even members of his family who have not been accused of any wrongdoing, have been subjected to a collective punishment reminiscent of the practice in medieval Europe. The people should be the judge of how fair this is. Even though this collective punishment has been meted out on the grounds that the Army Commander had committed violations of human rights, no one knows what these allegations are.
“Our government has already conveyed our displeasure in this regard to the government of the United States in the strongest possible terms.
“It is because of the historic betrayal committed by the Yahapalana government formed by the United National Party, the Tamil National Alliance and the JVP in co-sponsoring UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 in 2015 that other countries are able to name members of our armed forces as violators of human rights. The first operative paragraph of that Resolution had taken note ‘with appreciation’ the September 2015 Report of the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights which accused the Sri Lankan armed forces of human rights violations. This report was based on the previous 2011 unofficial report prepared by a three member committee appointed by the then UN Secretary General outside the established procedure of that organization. In this manner, the UNP-TNA-JVP combine ended up accepting all the unfounded allegations made against our armed forces by various interested parties.
“Even though the Army Commander of our country and his family have been subjected to a collective punishment reminiscent of medieval times, the Yahapalana political parties have not condemned it. UNP Parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella says that this travel ban imposed on the Army Commander and his family is the responsibility of the present government. The JVP says that the USA has imposed a travel ban on the Army Commander and his family at this particular moment due to a deal to ensure that the SLPP obtains a resounding victory at the forthcoming Parliamentary elections. For its part the Tamil National Alliance has welcomed the collective travel ban imposed on the Army Commander and his family. The people should take note of the fact that when the UNP government co-sponsored Resolution 30/1 in the UN Human Rights Council, the so called anti-imperialist JVP did not oppose it.
“From the discussion that has taken place with regard to the collective punishment imposed on the Army Commander and his family, it becomes clear that the political divide in this country is between the patriotic camp which puts the country first, on the one hand, and born traitors who are waiting for the first opportunity to betray the country, on the other hand.