Sri Lanka

Govt’s Geneva Dilemma Why Sincerity Matters

Mar 8, 2017

As Sri Lanka gets placed, once again, on the Human Rights Council agenda this month, it is difficult to ignore the significant shifts -- internal and external -- that have taken place since Sri Lanka was last on the Council’s agenda in September 2015. Then, flush with victory and the confidence to champion reform, the Sri Lankan Government negotiated a finely-crafted resolution amid global plaudits. Back at home, the President was credited with what was termed an historic victory in Geneva. The government braved and comfortably carried a two-day debate on the text of the resolution itself and even convened a number of seminars and meetings through which to publicize the specifics concerning the resolution it co-sponsored. Contrary to mischievous mis-characterisations of the political dynamics among political leaders at the time, observers noted that there was in fact a remarkable unanimity between the President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on the terms of the resolution. While the Prime Minister led the line-by-line negotiations surrounding the text, the President is by all credible accounts said to have been fully briefed on its contents with aides providing him a full translation of the text under negotiation. The President’s early leadership of an all-party conference on the implementation of the resolution and his early speeches on the need for introspection underscored this point.   

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Daily Mirror, March 8, 2017

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