Mahinda Samarasinghe leads SL delegation
Plantation Industries Minister MahindaSamarasinghe
will head the delegation for United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
in Geneva this March. He is due to address the UN Human Rights
Council in Geneva on February 27 at 11.50 am (4.30 pm Sri Lankan
Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayaka
yesterday said President MahindaRajapaksa nominated
Samarasinghe as the leader of the delegation to
There was no decision as such to include a
minister for this year's UNHRC sessions until yesterday, he said.
Asked about the delay in nominating a minister for the delegation to
attend the UNHRC sessions, Samaranayakasaid : "I do not know about
that, but the decision to include a minister came late last night
from the President."
Minister MahindaSamarasinghe is one of the most
experienced and well versed envoys in diplomacy, he said. Samaranaya
said the team headed by Minister Samarasinghe to the UNHRC comprise
officials of External Affairs Ministry and the Attorney General's
Department. Commenting on the delegation's makeup, he said the team
appointed to represent Sri Lanka at the Geneva Human Rights
sessions, is a high profile team.
"The team is well prepared and up to the task to
face any challenges," he said. "They have the capacity, the
knowledge and the experience to present Sri Lanka's case at the
UNHRC sessions," he said.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Ministry Secretary
KarunathilakaAmunugama said they are preparing a detailed report on
the progress Sri Lanka has made in achieving its post-war
reconciliation goals to be presented to the Human Rights Council.
"It will outline the implementation process of the recommendations
of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee report.
We asked Mohan Samamaranayaka about chances that
Sri Lanka might be put in a tight corner at the upcoming Geneva
sessions in the light of various possibilities as such that US might
move another resolution against Sri Lanka and that Channel Four
might release what they describe as a follow-up film to their
earlier version of alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka.
Samaranayaka said none of these charges are new to
Sri Lanka. We are no strangers to Channel Four war crimes disclosure
threats or US-sponsored resolutions," he said. "The government has
seen these threats and resolutions for sometime now. Similarly,
there will be those NGOs with pro-LTTE diaspora support, whose role,
as we all know, has been to discredit the government at every UNHRC
session on any given year and some countries that have sympathized
with the LTTE, and some countries that have been misled to develop
antipathy towards Sri Lanka."
"The activities of these groups are at the peak,
whenever there is a UN Human Rights Council session, and their
activities are carried out with a focus to put the government in a
tight corner to achieve their separatist political ends," he said.
Meanwhile, the Tamil National Alliance reportedly
submitted a letter to the UN criticizing the government.
Samaranayaka said, "They did this last year as well. There is
nothing new about these actions."
"The officials appointed to participate in the
upcoming Geneva sessions are good enough to address such
eventualities with their extensive experience in similar matters,"
"This team will inform all UN member countries in
detail what the government has done and achieved through its
national reconciliation effort as with the implementation of the
recommendations in the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission
report," Amunugama said.
Courtesy : Daily News