Sri Lanka seeks Indian support ahead of key UNHRC sessionsFebruary 20, 2021
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has officially sought India’s support ahead of next week’s UNHRC sessions on the island nation’s rights and accountability record, a top foreign ministry bureaucrat told a state-run channel here on Friday.
Speaking to Hitu TV, Foreign Ministry permanent secretary Jayanath Colombage said India was the first country that Sri Lanka had turned to for support.
During the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in Geneva next week, Sri Lanka’s record in human rights and related accountability will be probed.
“We sent a special communique to the Honourable Indian Prime Minister seeking his help… ,” Colombage said.
The senior foreign ministry official’s comments came after the UNHRC Core Group on Sri Lanka, in a joint statement earlier in the day, said a resolution would be moved next week to focus on Sri Lanka’s rights accountability.
The Sri Lanka Core Group consists of the UK, Germany, Canada, Malawi, North Macedonia and Montenegro.
“The Core Group restates 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,” the statement read.
Colombage expressed confidence that India would support Sri Lanka for the sake of regional solidarity.
“This is unwanted interference by powerful countries, still talking about the war time in Sri Lanka when our country is now a peaceful democratic nation,” Colombage said.
Colombage said he was expecting support from Russia and China as well.
The previous Sri Lankan government, headed by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, had co-sponsored the resolution in 2013, calling for accountability in alleged war crimes committed by the government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during the final phase of the near-three-decade-long civil war in May 2009.
The current government, led by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, has officially withdrawn from the resolution.