Sri Lankan president distances himself from pledges to UN
Posted on March 27th, 2019

By KRISHAN FRANCIS Associated Press COLOMBO, Sri Lanka Courtesy ABC News

Sri Lanka’s president has distanced himself from the government’s co-sponsorship of a resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Council giving the island nation two more years to fulfil its commitment to investigate alleged abuses during its civil war

Sri Lanka’s president distanced himself on Wednesday from the government’s recent co-sponsorship of a resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Council giving the island nation two more years to fulfil its commitment to investigate alleged abuses during its civil war.

Highlighting factionalism within the government, President Maithripala Siriena said in a speech that the country’s U.N. representative gave Sri Lanka’s consent to the resolution without his knowledge or that of the foreign minister.

He said the action resulted from “wrong decisions by sections of the government,” a reference to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, with whom he has had a falling out.

“The president is responsible for the foreign affairs of the country, not anyone else,” Sirisena said.

“I protest and totally reject the document signed behind by back. I see this as a betrayal of the security forces of the country, as a betrayal of the government of Sri Lanka and the people of Sri Lanka.”

Sri Lankan security forces in 2009 defeated Tamil Tiger rebels who had fought to create an independent homeland for the country’s ethnic minority Tamils. The U.N. initially estimated the death toll from 26 years of fighting to be about 100,000 but a U.N. experts’ panel later said some 45,000 ethnic Tamils may have been killed in the last months of the fighting alone.

Government troops and the Tamil Tigers were both accused of grave human rights violations, which prompted local and international calls for investigations.

Sirisena’s predecessor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who oversaw the military victory, resisted calls for investigations for many years. Sirisena, who was his health minister, defected and allied with Wickremesinghe and successfully contested the presidential election in 2015 promising to investigate the allegations of human rights abuses, take measures to heal the wounds from the conflict and share political power with the Tamil minority.

Months after his election, Sirisena’s government co-sponsored a U.S.-led resolution in which it agreed to investigate abuses and prosecute perpetrators. Among the most contentious issues was the government’s agreement to investigate rights abuses in its own courts with the participation of foreign prosecutors and judges. In 2017 another resolution extended the time by two more years.

However, with Rajapaksa regrouping and rallying majority Buddhist Sinhalese opinion against actions against the security forces, Sirisena took a hard line.

A spat with Wickremesinghe came into open last October, when Sirisena suddenly sacked him and appointed Rajapaksa as prime minister, hoping to form an alliance with him again.

A subsequent seven-week political crisis crippled the country and ended with a Supreme Court ruling that forced Sirisena to reinstate Wickremesinghe.

In a speech in Geneva last week, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana said the establishment of hybrid courts with local and foreign judges would violate Sri Lanka’s Constitution.

4 Responses to “Sri Lankan president distances himself from pledges to UN”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    “The president is responsible for the foreign affairs of the country, not anyone else,” Sirisena said.

    “I protest and totally reject the document signed behind by back. I see this as a betrayal of the security forces of the country, as a betrayal of the government of Sri Lanka and the people of Sri Lanka.”

    Then why complain to us about it? Take an action against the culprit who did it in Geneva.

    This is playing to the gallery, nothing more.

    This guy is the most cunning politician in the country. He talks against the government in public and work to save them. So the poor Citizen Silva thinks that My3 is on his side.

    What a game and how pity it is to see these.

    Where is the Bond Scam report promised to have published in two weeks?

    Current Yahaps and My3 are a curse to this land.

    That is why we don’t have rain in the catchments and instead, we have rain in lower areas resulting flooding.

    This reminds me the words of Lord Buddha.

    “Devo Vassathu Kalena”…….”Raja Bhawathu Dhammiko”

  2. Nihal Perera Says:

    I totally agree with Hiranthe…

    Sirisena cannot be trusted as he is playing a double game. He is cunning and pretended to be a patriotic leader, which he is not. His motive is to play the political game and stay in power at any cost.

    It is thanks to people like him and ponna Ranil that our country is a mess. Time to get rid of all these cunning and selfish bastards and elect a patriotic and a brave leader like Gotabaya.

  3. A Concerned Citizen Says:

    This guy is the worst President this country has ever had. And given we had Jayawardene etc, that is saying a lot. He treats the people with contempt, saying different things every other day. A useless bugger! How this type of person became the head of government of this country that has many smart people and brains is beyond me. The man is not only a liar with zero principles, but he is delusional enough to think everyone else will believe his lies and ridiculous statements.

    Sirisena is the President yet has covered up various crimes around the country from the Bond Scam, Corruption cases against members of his own staff and not done an ounce of good regarding development etc. He makes the most ungraceful statements on television and embarrasses the country. He is a disgrace and should go down as the worst leader this country has had next to the likes of Bandaranaike, Jayawardene and the traitors who signed deals with the Tigers etc.

    Certainly a patriotic Parliament (both governing party and opposition) should be elected along with a PM and President (no matter whether it is ceremonial, or executive). Provincial councils should be abolished. However, we should not tie our vote to one party, or family. POLICIES and honesty is what people should vote for. Glad to see brand new candidates emerging. Time to kick all these utterly useless Indian bootlicking political class members out once and for all.

  4. Hiranthe Says:

    I have an important news for all.

    Rev Sobhitha was one of the chief Architects in the Regime change project. He has visited Norway many a times planning this.

    We would all like to know where he is now… whether in the “Thusitha” heaven or the Hell after his death.

    An enlighten monk who has gone to Samadhi and searched where Sobhitha is now.

    It is sad to say that he is in “Avici Maha Niraya” in a worst situation.

    I account it for betraying this blessed country and also not following the “Sangha Vinaya”

    We don’t know what else he committed to fall into this worst place.

    One good thing may be in his mind.. he must be counting days and waiting to shake hand with “Dambara Amila”

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