Echoing Tamils nationalistic slogans, Mangala Samaraweera’s speech at UN on 1 March 2017, clearly implicated that Sri Lanka was a “failed state”!
Posted on March 3rd, 2017

34th Session Of UNHRC: FM Mangala Samaraweera’s Speech – Full Text

Mr. President

High Commissioner for Human Rights/ Madam Deputy High Commissioner

Excellencies

Distinguished Delegates

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is an honour for me to be here today at the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council which I believe has the highest number of dignitaries in attendance.

I stand here today at a time when the very basis and fundamentals of human rights are being questioned around the world. Many of the universal values that we subscribe to are being challenged in the name of ‘populism’, with populists spinning webs from threads of ignorance. The role of this Organisation, in this context, is becoming more important than ever.

Mr. President,

This Council is familiar with Sri Lanka’s story. After years of denial, disengagement, and self-isolation, the National Unity Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, proceeded to set our country on a transformative trajectory in terms of human rights, good governance, rule of law, justice, reconciliation and economic development.

The people of our country voted in large numbers granting a resounding victory to President Sirisena at the election in January 2015. The voter turnout was the highest recorded for any Presidential candidate, and in the North and the East, President Sirisena’s share of the vote was also the highest ever as people placed their trust in President Sirisena who they believe will not short change them as in the past. Therefore, we not only owe the people who voted for us 2 years ago, but also to history to uphold that trust, and we are committed to do so.

Mr. President,

It is with this firm conviction, that soon after the August 2015 Parliamentary Election, we co-sponsored Resolution 30/1 titled ‘Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka’, which was adopted unanimously by this Council, on the 1st of October 2015.

I speak today, just over a year, or 15 months since Sri Lanka took the historic step of co-sponsoring Resolution 30/1. Many in our country criticised and continue to criticise us for this step. Some even see this as an act of treachery and betrayal of the nation. We have a simple message for them, as we journey towards 2018, our 70th year as an Independent Nation:

The Sinhalese, the Tamils, the Muslims, the Burghers, those of different faiths and beliefs, across gender, caste and creed, that constitute our country, worked together to gain Independence for our nation in 1948. That achieved, we failed to forge the perfect nation of individuals who all hold equal rights, working as one to achieve the heights our nation could attain. As a result, for 69 long years, we journeyed through pain, violence, loss of life and precious human resources, ruining chances of socio economic progress. This was clearly an experiment in nation building that failed, which is certainly not worth pursuing further. We must have the courage to acknowledge that truth, and that era must now end. The Sri Lanka that we seek to build here onwards, should be one where justice reigns; where human rights are valued; where every individual’s dignity is upheld; and where civil society and the media play their due role; a society that believes in the importance of the independence of the judiciary, and the rule of law; and where everyone has equal rights.

Mr. President,

As we move forward in this journey, the forces of extremism and regression on both sides of the divide are creating road blocks for narrow, short-term political gain. While stubbornly refusing to acknowledge any of the far-reaching gains we have made in the last 2 years, they argue that we have either done too much or too little. I would, in this backdrop, like to say that the recommendation of the GSP+ concessions from Brussels, and MCC compact assistance from USA were announced recently, in recognition of the progress made in Sri Lanka in the last two years, and we await their formal approval in the coming months.

Mr. President,

Since I last addressed this Council, on the 29th of June 2016,

  • legislation to give effect to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, and published in the Government Gazette, and is expected to be tabled in Parliament shortly;
  • the formulation of the Policy and Legal Framework of the proposed Counter Terrorism Act has progressed in keeping with accepted international practices;
  • Sri Lanka’s Parliament has enacted legislation to establish a Permanent Office on Missing Persons. The Act that has been certified by the Speaker of Parliament, is now the law of the land, and awaits the assignment of the subject to the Prime Minister, by the President, for its operationalisation. The budget for the year 2017 has, in the interim, allocated over a billion Rupees for this Office.
  • a National Policy on Durable Solutions for Conflict-affected Displacement was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers;
  • the Registration of Deaths (Temporary Provisions) Act No 19 of 2010 was amended by Parliament, and the issuance of Certificates of Absence was enabled;
  • the UN Secretary-General at the time, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and the Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues visited the country, at the invitation of the Government;
  • the List of Designated Persons under Regulation 4(7) of the UN Regulation No. 1 of 2012 was further amended;
  • Sri Lanka’s periodic reports were considered by the Committee on Migrant Workers, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Committee Against Torture, and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women;
  • the Reports of the 6 Sub Committees of the Steering Committee tasked with deliberating and submitting reports on fundamental rights; judiciary; law and order; public finance; public service; and centre-periphery relations; have been completed, and handed over to the Constitutional Assembly;
  • the National Human Rights Action Plan for the period 2017-2021, evolved through a wide consultative process, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers;
  • the Right to Information Act was brought into force on the 3rd of February this year;
  • 11,253 houses were handed over during 2016 to the internally displaced; and Rs. 4,785 million has been allocated for 5,732 houses for the internally displaced for 2017;
  • the Rehabilitation of Persons, Properties and Industries Authority (REPPIA) payments for beneficiaries in 2016 amounted to Rs. 605,809,359.00; and Rs. 574,000,000.00 has been allocated for 2017;
  • 5,515.98 acres of state land and 2,090.03 acres of private land were released in 2016; and 1,383.51 acres of state land and 30.54 acres of private land were released last month, in January 2017;
  • the first ever National Integration and Reconciliation Week was observed from 8th to 14th January 2017, with all public officials as well as school children taking a pledge, resolving to work together, hand in hand, respecting the richness of our diversity, to foster peace, understanding, and mutual trust, for a new Sri Lanka that is united in its diversity;

Mr. President,

Another important undertaking that was successfully concluded during this period, is public consultations carried out by the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms, the first of this nature carried out in the country. Over 7000 written submissions were received from persons from all walks of life, many of them victims of human rights violations who came forward to give their views. The Report of the Task Force is presently being studied in the context of designing the relevant Mechanisms for Truth-seeking, Reparations, Justice, and other reconciliation processes.

We expect the draft legislation on the Truth-Seeking Commission to be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers within the next two months. Our resolve to bring justice to the victims of human rights violations remains firm.

While taking the allegations of widespread torture seriously, the Government has a zero-tolerance policy towards torture. Although the National Human Rights Commission has recently indicated to us that there is a downward spiral of incidents, even one incident of torture is one too many. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, the Police Commission, the Ministry of Law & Order and other relevant agencies are working together to prevent and combat torture. As in many other areas, this too is an area in which we require technical assistance, and I hope that countries with experience in this area will come to our assistance.

Mr. President,

The Constitution drafting process is for us both central and essential not only for democratisation, but also for ensuring non-recurrence of conflict. As this Council is aware, the Parliament of Sri Lanka, in April 2016, unanimously adopted a Resolution to prepare a draft Constitutional Bill for the consideration of Parliament. As we approach the 70th year of our nation’s Independence, we seek, for the first time in our country’s modern history, to engage in this process wholeheartedly as an exercise that would unite our people who have been divided for far too long. The Parliamentary process and referendum are for us, imperative. We want to ensure that this Constitution, the 3rd Republican Constitution, unlike those before, that did not involve consensual and consultative processes, would reflect the true aspirations of our people. An exercise where, after years of conflict, the executive, legislature and sovereign – that is the people of our country – will unite to define and chart our nation’s future, guaranteeing equal rights, justice, and dignity for all citizens, honouring the multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-lingual character of our nation, upholding the right of citizens to participate more fully in decisions that impact their lives, and guaranteeing non-recurrence of conflict.

Mr. President,

The journey we have undertaken, arising from our commitments to our people and the mandates received at elections, is challenging. This may be a journey strewn with both success as well as some setbacks. In the face of roadblocks and other obstacles in the day to day world of realpolitik, there may have to be detours from time to time, but the destination will remain the same. Our resolve to see the transitional justice process through has not diminished. With the help of all our citizens in all walks of life, our friends and partners in the international community, and Sri Lankans overseas; with patience, understanding, and constant and consistent effort and perseverance; we strongly believe that we can make the reconciliation process a success, and establish a progressive and united society, working in harmony to take our nation towards new heights of socio-economic development. We believe that we can make Sri Lanka a shining example of a country that is prosperous, united in its diversity, upholding human rights, justice, and the rule of law.

Thank you.

18 Responses to “Echoing Tamils nationalistic slogans, Mangala Samaraweera’s speech at UN on 1 March 2017, clearly implicated that Sri Lanka was a “failed state”!”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    What Avamangala Samaraweera should acknowledge is not the Sri Lanka has failed as a State, but that the STRATEGY OF PANDERING to unrepentent communal racist apartheid terrorist separatists has FAILED as a means of bringing peace and reconciliation to Sri Lanka.

    These communal it’s will NEVER BE HAPPY living within a sovereign and unitary Sri Lanka as long as AN IOTA OF HOPE is given to them that they could realize their separatist dreams!

    The ONLY REMEDY to this RACIST DISEASE is to ABANDON the NOTION that devolution of power leads to peace and reconciliation; it leafs only to FURTHER EMPOWER ME T OF SEPARATISTS and FURTHER DISINTEGRATION of Sri Lanka as the Motherland of ALL of its people.

    Instead, ALL DEVOLUTION OF POWER to Sub-National Government Entities should be STOPPED!

    The 13th Amendment should be TOTALLY REPEALED, Provincial Council Local Governments should be IMMEDIATELY DISSOLVED, and ALL GOVERNANCE should be conducted at the National Parliamentary Level.

    Equal rights for ALL CITIZENS, YES!

    ONE VOTE for EACH ADULT CITIZEN to ELECT Members of Parliament, YES!

    Regional Governments with separate homelands for different communities with Local Majorities, HELL NO!

    Avamangala Samaraweera should be TARRED & FEATHERED for the TREASONOUS DAMAGE he has done to our Motherland as Foreign Minister!

    His name will be BLACK BLOT in Sri Lanka’s History that can NEVER BE ERASED!

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    ANANDA !! Did you see Ratha Nayaa s latest suggestion. Give Police and Land Powers to North. How these buggers were taken into Parliament, I don’t know. He is living in Super Luxury, totally against the Buddhist Principles.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Susantha,

    Are you referring to Athuraliye Ratana Thero? Do you have a weblink for that info?

    If he has proposed that, he has completely gone from being a JHU Patriot to a DESPICABLE TRAITOR!

    “Ratha Naya” would indeed be a very good label for him if he has said that!

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    It is TIME for Sri Lanka to LEAVE the United Nations!

    If the UN cannot be impartial and stop supporting the Western NeoColonial agenda, and butt-out of the internal affairs of sovereign nations, it is high time an alternative UNION of NATIONS was created under the leadership of China, Russia, Brazil etc.

    …………………………………..

    UN says Sri Lanka’s slow progress in accountability mechanisms necessitates international participation
    Fri, Mar 3, 2017, 08:46 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Mar 03, Geneva: The United Nations says Sri Lanka’s failure to show progress in resolving high-profiled human rights violations in the past strengthens the case for a specialized court to deal with the crimes and international participation in accountability mechanisms remains a necessary guarantee for the independence, credibility and impartiality of the process.

    In the latest report of UN Human Rights Council released on Friday, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein advised the Government to continue meaningful consultations with relevant stakeholders on transitional justice and the reform agenda, and urged the Council to sustain its close engagement and monitoring of developments in Sri Lanka.

    While acknowledging that the government has made some visible progress in the constitutional reform process, the report said the limited progress has been made with regard to transitional justice.

    The report says the Government appears to have prioritized the design of the truth and reparations aspects, with little commitment to the establishment of a judicial mechanism involving the participation of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, as called for by the Human Rights Council in resolution 30/1.

    While acknowledging the complexity of establishing a judicial mechanism, the High Commissioner considered that preparatory work for judicial mechanisms should already be at an advanced stage.

    “In particular, some of the complementary and supporting steps in establishing the mechanism could have already been taken, such as incorporating international crimes into domestic law to allow for their prosecution, and strengthening the forensic, investigative and prosecutorial capacities in Sri Lanka.”

    Highlighting the high-profiled human right violation cases including extrajudicial killings and disappearances during the war, the High Commissioner’s report noted that successful prosecutions, conducted in accordance with international standards, could serve to build public and international confidence in the Government’s determination and capacity to pursue accountability.

    The lack of decisive progress in those emblematic cases reflects a lack of capacity or willingness of the State to prosecute and punish perpetrators of serious offences when they are linked to security forces, the report said.

    Admitting that in some cases, lack of progress might be attributed to the complex and cumbersome nature of investigations, the High Commissioner said the general and consistent absence of progress conveys the impression of a lack of will to effectively investigate, prosecute and punish serious crimes.

    The High Commissioner’s report says it would be useful for the Sri Lankan Government to seek support from experts and other States that have conducted similar exercises.

    The Report recommended the Sri Lankan government to embrace the report of its own Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms which recommended participation of international judges in the accountability mechanism.

    The UN asked the government to present a comprehensive strategy on transitional justice, with a time-bound plan to implement the commitments welcomed by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 30/1 and the recommendations contained in the present and previous reports of the High Commissioner to the Council; and as part of this strategy or separately set out a clear plan of action, and implement key recommendations of United Nations human rights mechanisms.

  5. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    JR once said that people elected a school girl as their president meaning one cannot expect wisdom and maturity from such person. Chandrika on the other hand said that JR created a bahubootha constitution meaning whatever she wanted to mean by it. JR was preaching for this kind of presidency for decades and only Mahinda was able to do what JR perhaps wanted to do. Mahinda used the bahobootha system to bring UNP to death by elections! In the democratic world the craving is for any election of any kind, in Sri Lanka the opposition hates elections!
    Those who study political developments in Sri Lanka since the 1930s saw a group of Colombo families destroying the country with the help of an elite civil service crowd paying lip service to democracy, village development etc. Since the 1960s these families of the UNP and SLFP (with the support of English-speaking Colombo Marxists) removed one by one democracy given in the 1947 Constitution. Both the Donoughmore and Soulbury Commissions warned these Colombo families about the dangers of Tamil separatism and the need to develop the remote areas where the poor Tamils, Muslims and the Sinhalese were living. By 1948 there were two Ceylons:
    (1) English-speaking, west-worshiping Colombo-centered Ceylon and
    (2) Sinhala and Tamil-speaking village Ceylon.
    Even after the 1971 youth rebellion these ruling families did not learn a lesson. Instead they politicalized everything and destroyed the structural democracy in Ceylon. For example, after packing party henchmen to the Senate, they later abolished it as useless! The 1947 Constitution which was based on the 1944 Ministers’ Draft had everything the country needed to become a prosperous country. A policy of “discrimination with reason” could have nullified the restrictions placed on the parliament by the Section 29(2). This was what India did covering 50% of its people known as scheduled tribes and castes and later backward classes. Malaysia did it in vigorously since 1971.
    The 1972 Constitution was a bad document in representative democracy and the 1978 one was a death-trap when considered along with the ugly amendments and the changes to the election laws. In addition to the death of structural democracy (rule of law, independent public service and the judiciary etc.) that took place prior to 1978, JR documents killed the territorial democracy in Sri Lanka.
    The destruction of electorate and ward-level selection of representatives was an unpardonable crime. Then came the India-imposed Provincial Council white elephant (13-A). This tiny island does not need and cannot afford this colossal wastage of money which has become Montessori schools for local politicians’ kith and kin.
    One aspect clear in Sri Lanka politics is that selfish party politicians in power abuse and create systems for their benefit not realizing that the opponents would use the same system to abuse power when they get their chance! This was what had happened with JR. He never thought that tables will turn within 10 years making him a prisoner to his own set up. All those Colombo educated crowd (JR, Laltih Athulathmudali, Gamini Dissanayake, Chandrika, Anura and even Premadasa who had a Colombo life) never knew the ability of the first village man who became the president of Sri Lanka in November 2005. He turned the bahubootha death-trap system of JR and Company. into an Aladdin’s lamp and used it so effectively to save the country from a 30-year old beggar’s wound. He could do this because of what JR created. To a great extent he could even overcome the electoral system designed by purpose of by accident to make the Sinhala majority a weak majority government, a demand made first the mid-1920s.
    UNP and JVP must realize that people in Sri Lanka are not going to buy their sour grape stories and their new-born interest in preserving democracy. Where were they when JR, Premadasa and Chandrika played havoc?

  6. Charles Says:

    If Mayithripala Sirisena the President has guts he should sack Mangala, Ranil and Ravi Karunanayake and ask the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to be Independent and take decision without having to ask Ranil. It is also time he asks Ranil to step down on the Bond issue. He is indeed involved neck deep in the Bond Scam. He is a thief protecting thieves. What is the use of a man like him as President.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Try to understand the problem Sira is facing.

    IF he sacks Run-nil and Man-gala they will IMPEACH HIM with the help of TNA, JVP and JO.

    Then what? RAN-NIL becomes president!

    JO HATES Sira more than RUN-NIL.
    JO has torn apart the SLFP not the UriNePee.

    Sira made it clear NO HYBRID court and NO international investigation.

    IF he is replaced by RUN-NIL it is disaster.

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    Katussa (Lorenzo),

    Your illogical scenarios are as FAKE as you yourself.

    Aiyoooo Sirisena has a VERY VIABLE OPTION: Make PEACE with MR and the JO, form a SLFP GOSL after dismissing Ranil and his UNP and instituting charges against them, and RETURN TO HIS ROOTS.

    He will not be able to seek re-election in 2020, but at least he will be able to ride off into the sunset at peace with his own people.

    Very soon, even this option will not be available to him!

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    Agree with Ananda.
    Pres MS has the option of making peace with his PATRIOTIC ROOTS by joining up with MR & JO.

    ——–

    Is Sri Lanka ‘a Failed State’ ? NO !

    It is wonder that Sri Lanka is still standing after nearly 500 yrs of Colonisation, Cold War politics, Tamil Caste Wars from Tamil Nadu, Tamil leaders Separatism tied to Cold War & earlier Tamil Nadu aspirations of Separatism ……

    Something must be pretty solid about Lanka that Lanka is still holding up to all these ‘Nadagang’ mostly from abroad.
    Dear Sri Lankans,
    Never let the ‘Divide & Rule’ folk win ! They are after your Assets & Power structures here.

    PATRIOTISM, high and proud Patriotism, long lasting forever Patriotism, is the need of the hour.

    Keep your sense of humour intact, dear folks ! Keep your health & your balance in all things.

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    Nalliah is right :
    After Independence in 1948, there were two parts of Ceylon :

    – the English speaking, west worshiping Colombo centred Ceylon, and
    – Sinhala & Tamil speaking village Ceylon

    Who gains from this division ?
    The ‘divide & rule’ folk, of course !!

  11. charithsls Says:

    What we need to understand is the US & the West are just playing a trick using the UN. As long as this government is in power they will just bide the time with little or no punishment but the moment the JO or MR comes to power, they will come hard on us. We are caught in their grip.The external forces are just monitoring now that we carry on with this puppet government & we can see, come general election etc, their mechanism will switch into gear frightening the public & holding the JO to ransom if they win the election.JO should know this well to plan in advance.

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    Charithsl,

    TRUE. Now Mangala wants 2 years. In 2 years and a few months it will be the NEXT govt.!!

    But look how PEOPLE IN SL will take it. They think UNP govt. STOPPED UNHRC threats! They only postponed it.

    The UNHRC is a US puppet trying to do REGIME CHANGE and KEEP FRIENDLY REGIMES in power.

  13. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    ANANDA !! I RECENTLY READ IT SOMEWHERE, WITH HIS **KOTAHALU GEDERA GENIYANA MOONA**. I WILL TRY TO FIND IT FOR YOU.

  14. Randeniyage Says:

    How many of you beleive RW and MR are good friends who met recently in Singapore for a deal ?

  15. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    IAM 100% posiitive I read it but I cannot find it. will try.

  16. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    OK, HERE IT IS ANANDA.

    Please Google:-**Rathana says to give Police and Land Powers to North.

    It is in the Mirror Citizen Sunday 5th March 2017 with massive Headlines:-

    LAND AND POLICE POWERS SHOULD BE GIVEN TO NORTH.–RATHANA THERA.

  17. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    ANANDA ! Actually, what I saw was another article, same subject.

  18. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    There is also news about his MISTRESS, and how he has allegedly cheated the Government of Rs.37 Million by getting a SUPER LUXURY VEHICLE with Tax exemption. THIS IS NOT A BUDDHIST PRIEST. A despicable Politician craving for luxuries in life. Ofcourse with endless amounts of money, goes Wine, Women, and Song too. He should de-robe himself and get into big time politics. Nobody will object to that. THE RUB IS, THAT HE IS WEARING A YELLOW ROBE.

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