Govt to withdraw from UNHRC resolutions; US being hypocritical – Dayasiri

Confirming a government decision to withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolutions 30/1 and 40/1, a state minister accused the United States today of being hypocritical with its human rights conduct.

State Minister of Industries Dayasiri Jayasekara said the entry bar imposed by the US government on Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva and his family was a consequence of the UNHRC resolutions adopted by the previous government.

“The draft resolutions weren’t presented to either the cabinet or parliament. I was a minister in the [Yahapalana] government for three years, and we opposed them repeatedly. They were signed without a cabinet-level discussion let alone approval,” Jayasekara told reporters this morning.

The Trump administration’s decision, announced by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last Friday, was based solely on a report compiled by International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) Executive Director Yasmin Sooka, said the minister.

There is no solid evidence to prove the allegations against the army chief, he added.

The state minister also objected to the US government’s decision to extend the travel ban to Silva’s family who he said had “nothing to do with the war”.

“What kind of human rights is this? Who will account for the violations of their human rights?” he said.

Jayasekera also questioned the credibility of US-backed investigations on alleged war crimes committed during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE).

“We have doubts about the credibility of their human rights reports,” he said.