Noting the challenges faced by the OHCHR, particularly with regard to the budget which is paramount to the effective and independent discharge of the mandate of the High Commissioner, Sri Lanka said it believes that there is an urgent need for a more sustainable resourcing of the OHCHR in order to ensure efficient and objective fulfillment of its mandate.
“To this end, Sri Lanka believes that the bulk of the OHCHR funding must come from the UN regular budget,” Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, said addressing the 23rd Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“Sri Lanka remains deeply concerned that the lack of financial independence of the OHCHR also leads to disproportionate attention being paid to country-specific action in the Council which selectively targets some countries, while situations, human rights violations and restrictive practices in other parts of the world that warrant more urgent and immediate attention and action remain conveniently ignored,” he emphasized.
“The continuation and proliferation of the practice of the selective adoption of country-specific resolutions in the Council is a tool that exploits human rights for political purposes. We reiterate that such politicized action is contrary to the high purposes and principles of the Council and must be arrested.”
“Regrettably, a similar pattern is evident in the case of continued action on Sri Lanka in this Council,” Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka and Leader of the Sri Lanka Delegation told the Human Rights Council.
He recalled that the call for an international investigation into the situation in Sri Lanka had emanated at the UNHRC, barely a week after the Government’s defeat of LTTE terrorism and that the “ill-conceived resolution” on Sri Lanka resulting from “politicized action, diaspora compulsions and reports not mandated by the inter-governmental process and therefore lacking in legitimacy and credibility,” is completely unwarranted and is for that reason rejected by the Government of Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Aryasinha added that the “collusion, which is increasingly evident between some countries that support action against Sri Lanka and some extreme elements of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora with vested interests,” is a concern that must be addressed more comprehensively by the OHCHR.
The fact that some of these diaspora elements were accredited as members of a country delegation at the 22nd HRC sets an alarming precedent, he said. “Let alone not adding any value to the ongoing domestic reconciliation process, such action has caused mistrust about international processes among the people of Sri Lanka, and also negatively impacted our reconciliation efforts.”
He also informed the council that the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay has now decided to undertake a visit to Sri Lanka from 25 to 31 August 2013, in response to an invitation formally extended to her by the GOSL in April 2011.
He said Sri Lanka considers this visit as part of its continued, transparent and proactive engagement with the High Commissioner and the OHCHR.
“We believe that the visit would enable the High Commissioner to experience at first hand the significant strides made and also efforts presently underway in the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka,” the Ambassador said.