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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2705

Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Samaraweera met with US Envoy to UN Samantha Power 13 February 2015: United Nations 'Mum' on Sri Lanka UNHRC resolution

By Daya Gamage - Asian Tribune US National Correspondent
Washington, D.C. 15 February (Asiantribune.com):

At least the United States admitted, after Sri Lanka's foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera met with secretary of state John Kerry for talks to persuade the American administration to defer the Sri Lanka resolution scheduled to come up at UNHRC session in Geneva on 25 March that the 'topic' came up; but following Samaraweera's meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the UN spokesman for Ban made no reference that the issue was even raised.

Earlier, the state department announced that the Sri Lanka's request wrest in the hands of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: passing the buck to Geneva.

This is all the spokesman for Mr. Ban said on behalf of the UN after the talks between Samaraweera and the secretary-general:

“The Secretary-General met with the Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka, H.E. Mr. Mangala Samaraweera, and discussed cooperation between the UN and the new Government of Sri Lanka.

“The Secretary-General expressed his support and encouragement to the new Government in its important efforts in the first 100 days. The Minister of External Affairs and the Secretary-General addressed critical priorities for Sri Lanka, including especially human rights, accountability and reconciliation. In regard to the latter, the Secretary-General noted the UN’s peace building programmes and affirmed continuous support of the Organization to Sri Lanka and its people.”

The issue of Sri Lanka’s request to defer the Human Rights Council report was not mentioned.

However, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) gave some indication how the process would work at the UNHRC when it meets at its session in March when John Sifton, Asia advocacy director said the following to Reuters News Agency.

Mr. Sifton said his organization did not oppose a delay if the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights felt the time could be used productively to produce a better report and agree on an international role in the accountability process.

He said the best-case scenario would be a tribunal mechanism that included international staff with procedural powers, not just as observers. "A purely domestic effort is just not going to work," he said.

Note: Sifton proposes 'an international role.'

After foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera met on 13 Friday with United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power, a close confidante of President Obama, to discuss the issue of postponement of the resolution to September this year, she made the following interesting remark in her Twitter Account:

(Quote)Encouraging mtg w/ FM Samaraweera. Remarkable to see changed human rights climate in #SriLanka since Jan. elections (End Quote)

- Asian Tribune -

Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Samaraweera met with US Envoy to UN Samantha Power 13 February 2015: United Nations 'Mum' on Sri Lanka UNHRC resolution
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