Connect with us

news

Core Group on Sri Lanka to present resolution at UNHRC session

Published

on

British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Sara Hulton says the Core Group on Sri Lanka plans to take forward a further resolution to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka at the upcoming Human Rights Council Session.

The statement issued by the Core Group – consisting of UK, Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Malawi and Montenegro – stressed that there is an ‘ongoing importance’ of addressing Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council.

“The Core Group pays tribute to the people of Sri Lanka and wishes to highlight our ongoing commitment to accountability, reconciliation and inclusive peace in Sri Lanka.”

The statement said that the Core Group recognizes and welcomes the progress made by the Sri Lankan government in rebuilding infrastructure, demining, land return and resettling internally displaced persons.

However, it is clear that more needs to be done to address the ‘harmful legacies of war’ and build a sustainable peace in the country, the Core Group reiterated.

It further said the United Nations Human Rights Council will consider an important report recently published by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on human rights, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.

The Core Group highlighted that it has been important for them to work collaboratively and constructively with the Sri Lankan government over the last five years. “Consequently, we have engaged with the Government of Sri Lanka in preparation for the Council.”

“The Core Group noted the ongoing importance of addressing Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council. Informed by the report, the Core Group intends to present a resolution to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.”

In her report published in late January, the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet had stressed that the failure of Sri Lanka to address past violations has significantly heightened the risk of human rights violations being repeated.

She also called for an International Criminal Court investigation into Sri Lanka’s Tamil separatist conflict and sanctions on military officials accused of war crimes.

“Domestic initiatives for accountability and reconciliation have repeatedly failed to produce results, more deeply entrenching impunity, and exacerbating victims’ distrust in the system,” the report read. It went on to say that the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has reversed some advances made under previous administrations in protecting human rights.

Sri Lankan government, in response, stated that it plans to reject the report compiled by the UN rights chief on alleged human rights violations in the country. Sri Lanka’s response to the report, which has already been submitted in writing, will be made public when Foreign Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena addresses the UN Human Rights Council.

 



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

news

GL follows up Udaya’s initiative, negotiates concessionary crude oil supplies with UAE

Published

on

Balance-of-payment crisis continues to stagger govt.

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The United Arab Emirates (UAD) has agreed to discuss a possible arrangement to provide Sri Lanka crude oil on concessionary terms in the face of the country experiencing a severe balance-of-payments crisis, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris took up the matter with UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, on the sidelines of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. Prof. Peiris is on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s delegation to the UNGA.

In late August, Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila sought the intervention of the Acting Head of the UAE Embassy in Sri Lanka, Saif Alanofy. Minister Gammanpila also met the Iranian Ambassador in Colombo in a bid to explore the possibility of obtaining oil from Iran on concessionary arrangements.

The Foreign Ministry statement on Prof. Peiris meeting with the UAE Minister dealt with the financial crisis experienced by the country. “Foreign Minister Peiris explained the challenges Sri Lanka is experiencing in respect of its external budget, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prof. Peiris focused in particular on the country’s requirement for oil and requested concessionary arrangements from the UAE.”

The Foreign Ministry quoted Minister Al Jaber as having said that the UAE would be happy to assist and proposed the establishment of a strategic framework to take the process forward.”

The ministry stressed that both sides agreed to follow-up rapidly.

Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila earlier told The Island that concessionary arrangements were required to procure oil as part of an overall strategy to overcome the developing crisis.

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader and Attorney-at-law Gammanpila said that increase in fuel prices in the second week of June this year was only a part of the government’s response to heavy pressure on foreign reserves. Minister Gammanpila said that the decision was taken close on the heels of dire warning from the Central Bank.

Minister Gammanpila said that in spite of foreign currency crisis, the government ensured an uninterrupted supply of fuel. According to him, Sri Lanka spent as much as USD 3.5 to 5 bn annually on oil imports depending on the world market prices.

Continue Reading

news

President attends 9/11 commemoration in NY

Published

on

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday attended the special commemorative event near the Manhattan Memorial in the United States to mark the 20th anniversary of terrorist attacks in Washington and New York.

The terrorist attacks took place on September 11, 2001, targeting the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defence.

Coinciding with the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and the 9/11 Memorial Museum jointly organised the event. Other Heads of State and government representatives, who were in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, were also present at the event to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in those attacks.

Continue Reading

news

FSP calls on govt. allies not to pretend to oppose adverse deal with US firm

Published

on

By Anuradha Hiripitiyage

Due to the secret agreement signed with US firm New Fortress Energy, Sri Lanka would soon face a situation akin to the one already faced by Ukraine, the Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) predicted yesterday.

“Sri Lanka is trying to reduce its dependency on coal and switch over to LNG. With this in mind, several coal and diesel power plants are to be converted into LNG in the coming decade. Now, we will entirely depend on the US to provide us with LNG to power these plants. Given that the US intends to control the seas in which Sri Lanka is placed strategically, they will not let us off the hook once they establish their foothold here. We are in deep trouble,” FSP Propaganda Secretary, Duminda Nagamuwa said.

Nagamuwa said that some constituents of the government were pretending that they opposed the transfer of government’s shares in the Yugadanavi Power Plant to New Fortress Energy. “But this is not the time for theatrics but for concrete action”, he said.

Nagamuwa said that the agreement between the government and US Company New Fortress Energy to construct a new offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving, storage and regasification terminal at Kerawalapitiya as well as the transfer of government’s shares in the Yugadanavi Power Plant had to be scrapped.

“Even government ministers agree that the agreement was not discussed with them. Several affiliates of the government are trying to convince the people that they are fighting this decision from inside. However, past experience has shown that when push comes to shove they will stay with the government. They must show the leaders of the government that they are not puppets,” he said.

Nagamuwa said that if those affiliated to the government were serious in their opposition to undermining Sri Lanka’s energy security they should show their commitment by doing something concrete.

The Yugadanavi Power Station at Kerawalapitiya already produced 300 MWs of energy and there was a plan to build another 350 MW plant there. The US Company had now been allowed to build an offshore LNG receiving, storage, and regasification terminal and to provide LNG to the existing Power Station and the new 350 MW power plant to be built, he said.

“Now we are under the power of the US. We will soon be facing the plight of Ukraine,” he said.

Continue Reading

Trending