Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has vowed that he and his government would not succumb to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) pressures.
Earlier, UNHRC adopted a resolution against Sri Lanka’s rights record, providing the UN body a mandate to collect evidence of crimes committed during the country’s brutal three decade-long civil war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Speaking at a gathering in the southern rural district of Matara on Sunday, Rajapaksa said: “We will never succumb to (such) pressures (UNHRC resolution); we are a free nation. We will not be a victim of big power rivalry in the Indian Ocean.”
The president said the UNHRC resolution was the doing of foreign and local forces which cannot bare to see his government making progress.
Rajapaksa accused the previous government led by Maithripala Sirisena of betraying Sri Lanka’s sovereignty by co-sponsoring the UN rights resolution in 2015.
The resolution titled ‘Promotion of Reconciliation Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ was passed despite heavy lobbying by Sri Lanka. India was among 14 countries which abstained from voting.
India has said its stand on the matter is governed by two considerations: support to the minority Tamils and stability and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.
The resolution calls upon the Sri Lankan government to ensure prompt thorough and impartial investigation, if warranted, prosecution of all alleged crimes relating to human rights violations and serious violations of international human rights law during the country’s three decade-long civil war. The Tamil minority has welcomed the resolution.