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Take it easy on rights, Mahinda tells UN

world Updated: Sep 26, 2007 22:44 IST
Hindustan Times
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Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has asked the international community not to use human rights issues to victimise countries afflicted by terrorism.

Addressing the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Rajapaksa appealed to the world to understand the dangers posed by terrorism and help the affected countries fight this global scourge instead of taking up human rights issues to gain petty political advantage over them.

“Sri Lanka believes, as one of the founder members of the Human Rights Council, that human rights are too important to be used as a tool to victimise States for political advantage. It is essential that an international action to facilitate compliance with human rights standards is fair and even handed. Human Rights have to be protected and advanced for their own sake, not for political advantage,” Rajapaksa told the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

The President drew the attention of the world body to the fact that state sovereignty, civil society and the rule of law were being increasingly threatened by terrorism and other illegal and illicit activities in many countries.

But the capacity of the UN system to address these challenges effectively had been brought into question, he said. “Terrorist attacks are acts which threaten the democratic way of life and must be condemned...”