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Dinesh claims Global South sent important message over Sri Lanka resolution

Foriegn Minister Dinesh Gunawardena addressing the UNHRC sessions/MFA handout

ECONOMYNEXT- The member countries of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) from the Global South sent a message by voting against or abstaining from voting against a hostile resolution against Sri Lanka, the country’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said.

Speaking to reporters shortly after the Resolution setting up a mechanism to track and trace alleged War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity by Sri Lanka passed at the Council 22 votes to 11 with 14 abstentions, Gunawardena claimed these countries had withstood pressure from the European countries not to back Sri Lanka.

“They did not say yes to the resolution. We thank all those countries who stood up for the defence not only of Sri Lanka but for the defence of all the other sovereign nations of the world because today it could have been Sri Lanka, tomorrow it could have been any other country,” the minister said.

“This was not the forecast of the European nations even before an hour to the vote, I must say their figures have gone wrong,” he added.

Gunawardena said that the call of Sri Lanka and other countries at today’s session was to defeat COVID-19 first and give vaccination to over 100 countries who asking for the vaccination and that it is not a time to bring a country-specific resolution.

However, he said that any of these resolutions cannot be implemented without the consent and the acceptance of the country concerned.

Further, speaking about the budgetary implication of USD 2.8 million in the resolution, the minister said that the amount which is close to Rs 400 million could have been used to provide housing facilities to every person in the Jaffna Peninsula.

Sri Lanka lost the vote at the United Nations Human Rights Council today as out of the 47 members 22 voted for and 11 voted against the impose the resolution that will empower the UN to collect and store information from Sri Lanka that could lead to international criminal proceedings. (Colombo/Mar23/2021)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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