Written by Bella Dalima
21 Mar, 2014 | 7:03 pm
Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, Special Envoy of the President on Human Rights, says that the objective of the current version of the Resolution on Sri Lanka that is before the Human Rights Council is distancing religious communities from one another.
At a meeting held on the sidelines of the 25th regular session of the UNHRC in Geneva, the Minister said the draft resolution unduly focusses on alleged instances of religious disharmony in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan delegation in Geneva, briefed the countries representing the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on the current situation in Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva yesterday.
Minister Samarasinghe informed the Permanent Representatives and Ambassadors of the steps taken to ensure progress in Sri Lanka towards reconciliation and peace-building in the aftermath of the armed conflict.
The Minister outlined the constitutional protection of the freedom of thought, conscience and religion as well as the right to manifest a person’s religion in Sri Lanka.
He said Sri Lanka has long been a multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural society in which diversity is celebrated and perceived as a source of strength in the forging of a true national identity.
He added that the nurturing of unity in diversity is of paramount importance.
Minister Samarasinghe noted that the resolution is not merely political in its motivation but could also hamper and undermine the national reconciliation under way at present.
He said that the individual motivations of the proponents of the resolution to achieve political ends through this resolution are clear.
The Minister called on the OIC countries to show solidarity with Sri Lanka in defeating the politically motivated attempts to initiate an international inquiry mechanism, under the guise of an investigation to be carried out by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha were also present at the briefing.
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