Geneva, 13 September 2022 (TDI): The 51st Session of the Human Rights Council, held in Geneva until 7 October, was started on 12 September.

The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Ali Sabry, gave a statement on the annual report regarding Sri Lanka at the session.

Statement by the Foreign Minister

Ali Sabry said that “On behalf of our Government, I reiterate our unwavering commitment towards advancing, securing, and protecting the human rights of our people, and continuing our engagement with the Council in a spirit of cooperation and dialogue.”

“In keeping with our commitment, notwithstanding our categorical rejection of resolution 46/1, we have submitted Sri Lanka’s detailed written response to the High Commissioner’s Report.” He added

Moreover, the Foreign Minister said that” We have requested that Sri Lanka’s Comments be placed as an Addendum to the Report, to accord with best practices.

We remain cognizant of and acutely sensitive to the events that have taken place in the recent past.”

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He affirmed that Sri Lanka remains firmly committed to pursuing tangible progress in the protection of human rights and reconciliation through independent domestic institutions.

He also said that “It is observed that the High Commissioner’s report makes extensive reference to economic crimes. Apart from the ambiguity of the term, it is a matter of concern that such reference exceeds the mandate of the OHCHR.”

Ali Sabry reminded that it was recognized in the Universal Declaration, that human rights are interdependent, interrelated, and indivisible.

He said that “In upholding human rights, we have benefitted from the considerable expertise available with other countries as well as the United Nations. We will seek further advice and support on best practices as we proceed, and as deemed necessary.”

The Foreign Minister appreciated the people of Sri Lanka for their steadfastness and resilience while upholding their democratic values as one of Asia’s oldest democracies.

He concluded his statement by saying “While our immediate concern is economic recovery, advancing the human rights of our people is of equal priority. We look to the genuine support and understanding of this Council, as we proceed on this path.”