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SL warns EU against UNHRC action

Lanka warns that any action against it at the Human Rights Council will adversely affect its commitment to a "constructive engagement" with the UN rights mechanisms, reports PK Balachandran.

world Updated: Sep 13, 2007 22:19 IST
PK Balachandran

Sri Lanka has warned the European Union (EU) that any action against it at the Human Rights Council will adversely affect its commitment to a "constructive engagement" with the UN human rights mechanisms.

"Such action will go against the letter and spirit in which Sri Lanka has been cooperating with UN human rights mechanisms. This is also a counter productive measure as it would negatively impact on the government of Sri Lanka's position aimed at maintaining a constructive engagement with the UN human rights mechanisms," an Aide Memoir submitted to the Resident Representative of the EU in Sri Lanka on Thursday said.

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama submitted the Aid Memoir to Dominick Chilcott, the British Ambassador and Resident Representative of the EU Presidency in Sri Lanka.

Bogollagama delineated the steps taken by the Sri Lankan government to address human rights issues and asserted that there had been a positive improvement in the rights situation.

The Minister also declared that Sri Lanka was ready to subject itself to the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the Human Rights Council.

"In view of the above, it is the position of the Government of Sri Lanka that there is no rationale for the EU to initiate any action on Sri Lanka within the context of the HR Council, at this stage," he said.

The Aid Memoir warned that any action against Sri Lanka would be "abused by the LTTE for its own propaganda purposes."

It appealed to international agencies to avoid providing the terrorist organisation a lifeline at a time when it had come under pressure.