24 feb 2021 hon mfa

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena has regretted the disproportionate attention drawn to Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council driven by political motivations, and said “Sri Lanka rejects the High Commissioner’s Report which has unjustifiably broadened its scope and mandate further, incorporating many issues of governance and matters that are essentially domestic for any self-respecting, sovereign country”. Noting that the allegations contained in the report were based on ill-founded premises, the Minister said “the trajectory that has emerged with regard to the recommendations and conclusions reflects the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which certain elements have relentlessly pursued against Sri Lanka”. He added that “it is regrettable that the High Commissioner’s Office published its Report, accompanied by an unprecedented propaganda campaign on it, and refused to publish Sri Lanka’s Comments on the report as an addendum. This has deprived Sri Lanka and members of equal visibility of Sri Lanka’s views on the report”.

The Minister made these observations when he addressed an ‘Interactive Dialogue’ of the HRC in Geneva earlier today (24 February), which followed the presentation by the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet of the OHCHR Report ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’. 

Full text of address

Full statement