Indicating that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution was a priority for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration, Foreign Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday said the key agreement would soon be revisited.
Speaking after formally assuming duties, Gunawardena said that they were focused on “revisiting” agreements signed under the previous Government. He also noted that they would work to stabilise the nation’s political and economic climate.
Gunawardena added that a top priority of President Rajapaksa’s administration was to ensure national security.
The Minister recalled that the President’s election manifesto made it clear that any foreign agreements that had a negative impact on Sri Lanka’s national security, sovereignty and integrity would be reviewed.
The Foreign Minister emphasised that many controversial foreign agreements would also be reviewed, including the 2015 United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution 30/1, promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka. Commenting on Sri Lanka’s commitments to UN peacekeeping duties, the Minister said that the Sri Lankan Government had made representations to the UN and was ready for a constructive dialogue on the matter.
“That will be one key issue [Resolution 30/1]. I think in Geneva it had become a debatable issue, even by the last Government. In the beginning they had a different position, but later on they had highlighted some of the critical areas where objections had been continuously raised,” he said, pointing out that it was a priority of the Rajapaksa administration.
Gunawardena pointed out that the Foreign Affairs Ministry would be providing the President and the Cabinet with the full details of the said agreements and supplying them with expert opinions in order for them to decide the best way forward. President Rajapaksa had commented on the resolution in the lead-up to the election, calling it illegal.
Gunawardena, flanked by fellow parliamentarians including Sarath Amunugama and Bandula Gunwardana, as well as senior ministry officials, obtained the blessings of religious leaders prior to assuming office. Senior diplomats and ministry officials were also present at the ceremony.