It is significant that India which supported the U.S. proposals against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council on the two previous occasions remained absent from voting in the election held on Thursday (March 26). India said that the US proposal was not inconsistent with the UNHRC principles.
In a special vote called by Sri Lanka on the operating paragraph 10 of the proposal 23 countries voted against Sri Lanka while 14 countries including India and Indonesia who remained absent in the first vote voted against the operating paragraph 10 and 10 other countries remained absent from voting. Accordingly 24 countries, majority of the UNHRC 47 members did not accept the operating paragraph 10 of the proposal which entrusts the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct an investigation on the activities relating to the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka.
The operating paragraph calls for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct an investigation to what they call war crimes committed by Sri Lanka in the last stages of the war.
This was stated by the Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L.Peiris addressing a special media conference yesterday. Explaining further the Minister said that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mrs. Navaneethan Pillay is a person who has reiterated that there was no terrorism in Sri Lanka and it was only an imagination of the Sri Lankan government. She has also called for a war crime investigation against Sri Lanka on the last stages of the humanitarian operation and she made this call first within one week of ending the war and reiterated it at several times at several locations. The Minister asked how it can be possible for such a person with a predetermined mindset to be entrusted with the task of such an investigation.
The Minister also said that there is even no fund allocation for conducting such investigations in the UNHRC and asked from where they are going to obtain necessary funds.
Professor Peiris said that there are 13 Asian members in the UNHRC and only Korea voted against Sri Lanka and out of the 13 African nations only 4 members supported the U.S. proposal. The Minister explained that the U.S.President Obama has intimated many countries to support the proposal saying that their friendship with the United States and his future visits to those countries will be reviewed on their support to the proposal.
The Minister said that the United States has defense cooperation agreements with many countries and economic cooperation agreements with several other countries. In this context, the Minister pointed out that these countries are obliged to support the United States even if they have good relationships with Sri Lanka. Korea was one such country that had been compelled to vote in support of the U.S. proposal due to American bullying the Minister added..
Prof. Peiris said that the U.S.Proposal had been co-sponsored by several countries and out of the countries that co-sponsored 31 were European countries and 2 North American countries representing the United States and Canada. He said that it is not necessary to be a UNHRC current member to co-sponsor a proposal. He said that Australia and New Zealand are such members who had been intimidated by the United States to co-sponsor their proposal and both these countries rejected the American demand.
Speaking further the Minister said that the United States and the Western countries are well aware that a regime change, which has become a past time hobby of these neo-colonialists, cannot be implemented in Sri Lanka through democratic means due to the huge support being enjoyed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the government, and the only method that they can use for such a change is the methods they deployed in countries like Iraq, Libya, Sudan etc. He said that they are making use of the “ever ready to betray the motherland opposition groups” and the NGOs depending on western countries for their nourishment to create various unwanted situations in Sri Lanka with the objective of launching a regime change.
The Minister said that the people of this country have strongly demonstrated their solidarity with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the development process of the government in the elections held periodically and a similar strong message will be given to all anti-Sri Lankan elements on the 29th as well.
Courtesy : Department of Government Information