The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva
10th January 2008

The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka strongly refutes the news item appearing prominently today on the front page of the Daily Mirror, Colombo, Sri Lanka, under the caption "Sri Lanka lose voting rights at UNHRC ", carrying the byline of Easwaran Rutnam.

Sri Lanka is a full fledged member of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) with all rights including the unfettered right to vote, and the Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka is a Vice-President of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

As for the meeting between Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and Madame Louise Arbour referred to by the Daily Mirror, the Hon Minister visits Geneva several times a year, and often meets Ms Arbour!

This Mission strongly protests this news item which is malicious and misleading, and does not have the slightest basis in fact. The news item is a gross violation of the basic principle of professional reportage and journalism, namely the checking of facts. No one from the Daily Mirror contacted this Mission in order to verify this story.

This Mission has requested the Daily Mirror to publish an apology and a correction immediately, with the same prominence that it accorded the original tendentious item. ©

Front Page

10th January 2008

Sri Lanka lose voting rights at UNHRC

HR Minister seeks urgent meeting with Arbour to reverse decision
By Easwaran Rutnam
Sri Lanka has been demoted at the UN Human Rights Council from the 'A' category to the 'B', thus losing its powers to vote at the council. It can remain only as a monitor, sources said, adding that Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasingha was scheduled to travel to Geneva in an attempt to get the decision reversed.

Full Story :

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