Gotabaya Rajapaksa govt. to ‘revisit’ 2015 UNHRC resolution
Colombo, Nov. 26 (IANS): Sri Lanka’s new government has announced that it will “review and revisit” the 2015 UNHRC resolution promoting accountability, reconciliation, and human rights for its wartime abuses.
Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that Colombo would look at the resolution in a “national viewpoint in order to make it balanced and non-partisan”.
He said the top priority of new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration was to ensure national security.
The minister recalled that the President’s election manifesto made it clear that any foreign agreements that had a negative impact on Sri Lanka’s national security, sovereignty and integrity would be reviewed.
“Sri Lanka will revisit all bilateral agreements, particularly the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) worked out by the previous government, and if necessary, introduce amendments,” he said on Monday.
He told reporters that President Rajapaksa had clearly outlined the new government’s foreign policy based on non-aligned principles in his election manifesto.
“There is no doubt that we have to review and carefully go through all bilateral agreements inked after 2015 and remove any line, clause or paragraph detrimental to our national security, sovereignty, well-being of our people and negatively affect our economy, trade and industry. Sri Lanka has witnessed a tremendous political change through which has restored political and economic stability under a fresh development path. The main task at hand of the new government is to strengthen national security and rebuild the lost confidence both domestically and internationally,” he said.
Gunawardena pointed out that the Foreign Ministry would be providing the President and the Cabinet with the full details of the said agreements and supplying them with expert opinions in order for them to decide the best way forward.
President Rajapaksa had commented on the UNHRC resolution in the lead-up to the election, calling it illegal.