Gunawardena to announce SL withdrawal of “co-sponsorship” to UN Resolution on Wednesday

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 February 2020, 22:11 GMT]
SL Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena will be heading a delegation to the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council. The SL FM would formally inform the Council Members on the decision by the Rajapaksas regime to withdraw its co-sponsorship of Resolution 40/1 of March 2019 on Wednesday 26 February, the SL ministry said in a news release issued on Saturday. Meanwhile, JVP, a Sinhala nationalist party in the South, which is also opposed to the UNHRC resolution, said the withdrawal of co-sponsorship would not “make it disappear”. The resolution remained in force even after the US, which co-sponsored it withdrew its membership from the UNHRC itself said JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva addressing a news conference on Friday.

SL Govt Information Department
On Wednesday, the cabinet of Rajapaksa regime approved five decisions, which had been tabled by SL Foreign Minister, who wanted to work towards the closure of the resolution in the UN Human Rights Council [Courtesy: SL Department of Government Information]
The JVP politician questioned whether the Rajapaksa siblings were prepared to challenge the US travel ban on SL Army Commander Shavendra Silva by relinquishing US citizenship of their family members as well as scrapping the military-to-military ACSA and SOFA agreements with the US. He was also challenging the Rajapaksa regime to refrain from signing the MCC Compact with the US.

The SL Cabinet has decided only to withdraw “co-sponsorship” in the first place.

The SL Government wants to work with the UN towards the closure of the resolution gaining the support of other countries, said SL Department of Government Information revealing the five-point decision on Thursday.

The 47 member states during the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council (24 February - 20 March 2020) are the following: Afghanistan, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, Czechia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Libya, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Slovakia, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Togo, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.

SL Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha has already briefed the President of the HRC Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger in Geneva on the SL decision, the SL Foreign Ministry said.

The decision comes following a “cabinet paper” submitted by SL Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to the Cabinet of Ministers in the Rajapaksa regime. Mr Gunawardena revealed the details of the paper to the SL Parliament on Thursday 20 February.

“Minister Gunawardena who will also respond to the Oral Update on Sri Lanka by the High Commissioner on 27 February, is scheduled to meet the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, during his stay in Geneva,” the SL Statement said.

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