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Geneva resolution an attempt to undermine stability on the pretext of human rights – China

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China’s Permanent Representative in Geneva Chen Xu calling for a vote on the Sri Lanka-related draft resolution alleged that the sponsors thereof ignored the efforts and achievements made by the government of Sri Lanka in promoting and protecting human rights as well as the will of the people of Sri Lanka. Ambassador Xu described the move as an attempt to interfere in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs and undermine its development and stability under the pretext of human rights.

The following is the text of his speech issued by the Chinese Embassy in Colombo: “China commends the government of Sri Lanka for its commitment to promoting and protecting human rights, advancing sustainable economic and social development, improving people’s living standards, safeguarding the rights of vulnerable groups, advancing national reconciliation and combating terrorism, and congratulates the government of Sri Lanka on its achievements in the above-mentioned areas.

According to UN General Assembly resolution 60/251, the work of the Human Rights Council should be guided by principles of, among other things, universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity. All parties should promote and protect human rights through genuine dialogue and cooperation, and refrain from double standards and politicization of human rights. We maintain that all countries should abide by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, respect the sovereignty and independence of other countries, and abandon the practice of interfering in other countries’ internal affairs, and undermining their sovereignty and international cooperation under the pretext of human rights.

The sponsors of draft resolution L.1/Rev.1, ignoring the efforts and achievements made by the government of Sri Lanka in promoting and protecting human rights as well as the will of the people of Sri Lanka, attempt to interfere in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs and undermine its development and stability under the pretext of human rights. It is by no means aimed at the promotion and protection of human rights, but a typical example of politicization of human rights. This dangerous trend should not be encouraged at the Human Rights Council. In order to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles established in General Assembly resolution 60/251, the Chinese delegation calls for a vote on draft resolution L.1/Rev.1 and will vote against it. We call on all members of the Human Rights Council to oppose this draft resolution.”



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Six nabbed with over 100 kg of ‘Ice’

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By Norman Palihawadane and Ifham Nizam

The Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) yesterday arrested six suspects in the Sapugaskanda Rathgahawatta area with more than 100 kilos of Crystal Methamphetamine also known as Ice.

Police Media Spokesman, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ajith Rohana told the media that the PNB sleuths, acting on information elicited from a suspect in custody had found 91 packets of Ice.

A man in possession of 100 kilos of heroin was arrested in Modera during the weekend and revealed that a haul of Ice had been packed in plastic boxes.

The PNB seized more than 114 kilos of Ice from the possession of a single drug network.

According to the information elicited from the suspects, more than 100 kilos of Ice were found.

The PNB also arrested six persons including two women with 13 kilos of Ice, during an operation carried out in the Niwandama area in Ja-Ela on Sunday.

DIG Rohana said the ice had been packed in small plastic boxes and hidden in two school bags.

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PM intervenes to iron out differences among coalition partners

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By Norman Palihawadane

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he was confident that differences among the constituents of the SLPP coalition as regards the May Day celebrations and the next Provincial Council elections could be ironed out soon.

Leaders of all SLPP allied parties have been invited to a special meeting to be held at Temple Trees with the PM presiding on April 19.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa said it was natural for members of a political alliance to have their own standpoints and views on matters of national importance. “This is due to the different political ideologies and identities. It is not something new when it comes to political alliances world over. In a way, it shows that there is internal democracy within our alliance.

The PM said: “As a result of that the allied parties may express their own views on issues, but that does not mean there is a threat to the unity of the alliance. An alliance is more vibrant and stronger not when all the parties think on the same lines but when the member parties have different ideologies.”

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Thilo Hoffman remembered

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A copy of the book “Politics of a Rainforest: Battles to save Sinharaja” was handed over to Dominik Furgler, the Swiss Ambassador in Sri Lanka by the author of the book, Dr. Prasanna Cooray at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo last Tuesday, to be sent to the family of the late Thilo Hoffman in Switzerland.

Hoffman, a Swiss national, who made Sri Lanka his second home for six decades, was a pioneering environmental activist who led the battles to save Sinharaja from the front in the early 1970s, abreast with the likes of Iranganie Serasinghe, Kamanie Vitharana, Lynn De Alwis and Nihal Fernando of the “Ruk Rekaganno” fame. That was the era when the trees of Sinharaja were felled for the production of plywood by the then government. Hoffman was also a livewire of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) for a long time. Hoffman died in 2014 at the age of 92.

The book includes a chapter on Thilo Hoffman.

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