Sri Lanka rejects OHCHR Resolution 51/1 | Sunday Observer
UNHRC 54th Session

Sri Lanka rejects OHCHR Resolution 51/1

12 September, 2023

The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) said at the 54th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that it will not accept Resolution 51/1 which includes an ‘Evidence Gathering Mechanism’ and will not cooperate with it.

This statement was made by the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva, Himalee Arunatilaka on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka in response  to the Report on Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) pursuant to HRC Resolution 51/1 delivered at the 54th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) yesterday (11).

Some of the key points and excerpts from the GOSL statement made by Himalee Arunatilaka:

“At the outset, let me reiterate that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has consistently rejected Resolution 46/1 and 51/1 that led to the setting up of the so-called ‘Accountability Project’. We also reject the written update, its conclusions and recommendations.”

“We recall that the majority of the Member States either opposed or abstained from voting on these Resolutions, in fundamental disagreement with its unacceptable content in particular the so-called evidence gathering mechanism, the establishment of which is unprecedented. We reiterate that it goes beyond the mandate that Member States conferred on the Council by UNGA Resolution 60/251.”

“The content of the written update does not reflect the actual ground situation in Sri Lanka.”

“The economic, social and financial stabilization that Sri Lanka has achieved in the past year has been appreciated and acknowledged domestically and externally.”

“Those who are mandated and have the expertise to deal with economic and financial reforms remain confident in the country’s prospects.”

“It is regrettable that the OHCHR has also chosen to ignore the democratic resilience of the country and its institutions demonstrated in the past year.”

“Sri Lanka reiterates its deep concerns regarding the ever-increasing mandate of the OHCHR in making sweeping and intrusive comments on all aspects of economic, financial, electoral, political, domestic, budgetary and development policies. We strongly object to the written update pronouncing on policy matters that are essentially domestic for any sovereign country and outside the framework of this Council, which is unhelpful.”

“In its simplistic analysis, the OHCHR also refers to the challenges Sri Lanka is currently facing in the food, health and nutrition and education sectors as if it is an isolated phenomenon affecting Sri Lanka alone. In parallel in New York, the UN Secretary General, in solidarity with developing Member States in debt and financial distress arising from the current global context, is highlighting sympathetically the severe setbacks and challenges encountered by all developing countries in achieving the SDGs.”

“Sri Lanka rejects all Conclusions and Recommendations including references to targeted sanctions as they are based on incorrect and unsubstantiated sources contravening the principles of natural justice and the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity and non-selectivity.”

“Notwithstanding our position on the HRC Resolution, as a responsible member of the international community, Sri Lanka will continue to engage constructively with the UN and its agencies, in keeping with domestic priorities and policies as well as the international obligations voluntarily undertaken,” Arunatilaka reiterated in the statement.