Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the United States, Prasad Kariyawasam, dismissed the impact of the UN inquiry into mass atrocities in the country, stating that Sri Lanka is not prepared to accept the OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lanka (OISL) report, which is due in March 2015.
Asked by NewsFirst during an interview whether March would be a decisive time for Sri Lanka, Ambassador Kariyawasam said,
“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.”
“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,” he added.
Asked about the international criticism Sri Lanka has increasingly received over the past few years, Kariyawasam blamed “Tamil extremist groups” in the diaspora.
“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,” he said.
“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,” Kariyawasam added.