Sri Lanka refutes unfair allegations by HR Advocates during the UN Human Rights Council

The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva

25th September 2008

In a right of Reply exercised by Sri Lanka following the panel discussion and interactive dialogue on missing persons, under item 3 on Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development at the 9th Session of the Human Rights Council, on 22 September 2008, Mr. Yasantha Kodagoda, Deputy Solicitor-General, Attorney-General's Department stated the following.

"Mr. Moderator, let me at the very outset express to the Government of Pakistan and its people my Government's condolences regarding the most gruesome terrorist attack that took place in Pakistan last weekend.

Mr. Moderator, it is indeed very unfortunate that two organizations which addressed this august assembly abused this debate by engaging in a naming and blaming exercise distorting the truth. It was alleged Mr. Moderator, that an ethnic profiling exercise is afoot in Sri Lanka. We deny this allegation.

In Sri Lanka, we have a well functioning and vibrant Supreme Court which engages judiciously in the promotion and protection of human rights. It is unfortunate, Mr. Moderator, that the advocates of human rights who make these unfounded allegations against Sri Lanka, do not use this effective, domestic, legal remedy to obtain appropriate redress to the victims they allege to represent.

Mr. Moderator, we are indeed conscious that disappearances are a phenomenon that plagues human civilizations. We are committed to upholding the rule of law and working with UN mechanisms to resolve this issue even at a time when the very unitary character and the existence of my country are being threatened by ruthless terrorists.

Mr. Moderator, we fully endorse the continuation of this debate on disappearances during the future sessions of this council. In our view, this process should be aimed at supplementing the mandate of the UN working group on enforced disappearances and the very useful work being done in the field by the ICRC.

Thank you."

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