Sri Lanka is striving towards fulfilling the pledges made to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said in Parliament yesterday (07).
The Prime Minister also said that it is incorrect to suggest that Sri Lanka was isolated in the international arena because many countries abstained from voting as per their national and international policies while only 20 countries voted in favour of the resolution brought against the country.PM Gunawardena made these observations in response to concerns raised by Professor G.L. Peiris regarding the resolution adopted by the UNHRC against Sri Lanka.
Professor Peiris pointed out that the Government had to face the resolution at the UNHRC because Sri Lanka failed to fulfill its pledges. The Professor was also critical of the government for failing to secure the support of countries such as Qatar, UAE, Asian countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
“Most unfortunately Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are two important countries for us. We don’t have many investments or foreign remittances. So, the Sri Lankans who are employed in these countries are very important to us. We try very hard to keep a close connection with these two countries. When I was the Foreign Minister, these two countries supported us a lot. But now, even these two countries did not vote in favour of us. As per the tradition, Asian countries usually vote in favour of fellow countries. This time, neither Malaysia nor Indonesia supported us. I am not blaming them. We must analyze why it happened. I think one of the main reasons for that is because we don’t keep the pledges we make.” Professor Peiris observed.
In reply, Prime Minister Gunawardena noted, “First of all, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa released a large number of LTTE prisoners. President Ranil Wickremesinghe has also pledged to release the remaining detainees. Minister Ali Sabry made this clear before the UNHRC.