Sri Lanka’s anti-UN legislators seek rights council help

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s opposition legislator Namal Rajapaksa turned to the United Nations Human Rights Council soon after he was arrested along with two other members of parliament over their recent anti-India protest.

Rajapaksa, a leading member of the Joint Opposition which is highly critical of the UN Rights Council, complained to the world body as well as the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, about their arrest.

"#SriLanka Police arrested us 4 our peaceful protest against selling national assets, stifling opposition voices. @UNHumanRights @nikkihaley," Namal said on Twitter as he was remanded in custody till October 16.

Government spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said it was ironic that Rajapaksa who had accused the UN rights body of interfering in Sri Lanka seeking the help of the same organisation when he is arrested.

"When 28 locals were arrested by the Hambantota police Namal did not complain to the UN, but when he himself is arrested he goes crying to the UNHRC," Senaratne said.

He said the Rajapaksa hypocrisy was exposed even earlier when Namal shouted anti-Indian and anti-Chinese slogans last Friday, but later tried to say that their protest was not aimed against any country.

Shortly after leading demonstrators outside the Indian consulate at Hambantota, Namal Rajapaksa issued a tweet saying his protest was not against any country.

Colombo-based diplomats saw Rajapaksa’s U-turn as an attempt to avoid the wrath of India and China, two key backers of his father’s former regimes. (COLOMBO, October 11, 2017)

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