Written by Ramesh Irugalbandara
18 Oct, 2014 | 3:08 pm
In an exclusive interview with News1st, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Prasad Kariyawasam stated that Sri Lanka can handle the inquiry launched by the UN Human Rights Council. He noted that during his three months in office as the Ambassador to the United States, he has engaged a number of Congressmen in order to create awareness on the ground realities in Sri Lanka.
When questioned as to what has caused the current deterioration of the Sri Lankan image in the international community, the ambassador noted that large campaigns being carried out by anti-government Tamil extremist groups operating in the United States and Canada – are the main cause of it.
The ambassador reiterated that the Sri Lanka will not accept the report to be presented on the country to the UNHRC in Geneva as the system that they use to develop this report is flawed…
(See below for transcript of the interview)
Question : What have you been able to do to create a more favourable situation for Sri Lanka ?
Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam : It has been only three months since I travelled to America. So far I have met around 40 American Congressmen and explained the real situation in our country. US policies are influenced by three parties – they are the Congress, State Department and the White House. My aim is to hold discussions with all relevant parties and create awareness on the real situation of Sri Lanka.
Question: Our situation has deteriorated to an extent where an inquiry has been launched by the UNHRC. In your opinion what is the reason for this?
Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam : We feel the main reason behind this is that the large campaign being carried out by anti-Government Tamil extremist groups operating in the United States and Canada. However, we feel that we can handle the situation with regard to the UNHRC inquiry in a manner which would not cause major harm to Sri Lanka.
Question: March next year will be a decisive time for the country at the Human Rights Council, have you identified this situation as an ambassador?
Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam : I don’t understand why it is decisive. Next march they will be presenting a report on Sri Lanka to the Human Rights Council. We don’t accept this report and we are not prepared to accept it as well. This is because we have identified their process as one which is wrong and unsuccessful. Many other countries share our opinion. So, that is why I don’t think it is decisive. We don’t think this report is decisive for the future of the country however we are ready to face any repercussions that could occur due to this report. We are currently engaging in discussions with members of Congress and I believe that, through their intervention, we could minimise the repercussions that could occur as a result of this report
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