The Resolution passed by the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) last Thursday could be described as a soft but dangerous one, Human Rights Commissioner Dr. Prathibha Mahanamahewa said yesterday.
Commenting on the possible consequences of the US-backed resolution adopted at the UNHCR Dr. Mahanamahewa said there was no threat at present from the resolution since a considerable time period was given for the recommendations to be implemented. He said when the text was analysed it was very ‘soft’ as terms such as “urge”, “note”, “welcome” and “request” were used, which implied that they were not a must.
While highlighting a dangerous aspect of the Resolution, the Human Rights Commissioner said the current one had certain added clauses that India tried to put into disuse in 2012. “A dangerous fact is that it urges Sri Lanka to allow an opportunity to the UN rapporteur to make observations in the following areas – the freedom of expression and the independence of the judiciary, the independence of the judges, the independence of the lawyers, abductions, disappearances and women’s rights,” the Commissioner said.
He alleged it was an occasion where the UNHCR had acted contrary to the UN mandate over the sovereignty and equality of countries. “No one can exert pressures against the sovereignty of a country. It is a big threat to the sovereignty of the country. They want to send international monitoring missions here,” Dr. Mahanamahewa said.
When asked whether Sri Lanka should take this matter seriously, Dr. Mahanamahewa said Sri Lanka should give its priority for the National Human Rights action plan rather than this Resolution. He said the Resolution had allowed time up to 2015 and possible consequences could be seen only after that.
He predicted that Sri Lanka could be given a further time period for the implementation of her commitments under the Resolution after 2016 or more resolutions could be passed through the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)