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Uploaded on May 30, 2009
Mr. President it is also in this spirit that a broad based draft resolution has been co sponsored by many countries including Sri Lanka which we believe has even taken into account some of the constructive and practical suggestions made by some of our friends who were supportive of another resolution.
Mr. President I would also like to make the point that this is an implementable resolution which will in turn ensure a constructive outcome at the end of deliberations. We express the hope that it will be supported by everyone.
Mr. President Sri Lanka is a State which has come out of a 30 year conflict with its institutional structure in place. Even at the height of the conflict we were committed to ensure that the institutional structure was working in the conflict areas. This is a commitment we made on behalf of our people despite being aware that the LTTE were benefiting from the services we provided.
Sri Lanka Mr. President is a democracy where regular free and fair elections are held and a independent judiciary function. We are in the process of putting into place the recommendations and voluntary pledges we took on board as part of a UPR exercise and with the end of the conflict we believe that we are now in a better position to implement our plans for the promotion and protection of Human Rights in every nook and corner of our country.
Finally Mr. President, we are receptive to international cooperation and assistance, however as the affected State we have to preserve our right to decide the modalities and mechanism by which we would address these issues. They must be home-grown. The UN has recognised over a long period of time the nature of the assistance to be rendered to victims and the central role of the affected State. We have to be supported by the broad umbrella of international solidarity which will include member States and concerned international organizations.
We have engaged with the international community in a constructive and consistent basis and always cooperated as far back as the 1980s by subscribing to 13 core international human rights conventions and several optional protocols. We have put in place 11 pieces of domestic legislation which has given effect to the ICCPR and has effectively put in motion the implementation of these rights. We have put in place mechanisms to protect children in armed conflict to prevent recruitment of child soldiers.
Mr. President what I would like to leave behind in this room is our commitment as a government, as a nation to the fact that Sri Lanka is a multi cultural multi lingual multi ethnic and multi religious society. This is the great diversity and the strength of Sri Lanka. And we are committed and we believe in the fact that it is only through the protection and nurturing of this diversity that we can build the unity that we need to overcome the challenges that are before us in the national, reconstruction and development efforts that our country needs to put in place towards our goal of sustainable peace and development.