Lanka ready to face Geneva challenge - Gammanpila | Sunday Observer
“True friends will stay with us”

Lanka ready to face Geneva challenge - Gammanpila

7 February, 2021

Co-cabinet Spokesman and Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila said the Government is confident that true friends will stand by Sri Lanka and we can collectively face any challenge posed by the forces with vested interests at the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva.

The UNHRC has been passing resolutions against Sri Lanka after LTTE terrorism was defeated in 2009 but since then we successfully faced those challenges, the Minister told the Sunday Observer yesterday. He said the Government has decided to reject the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s report in full based on two reasons.

Firstly, it is outside her mandate tasked to investigate and report the progress of the implementation of the resolution 40/1 passed by the UNHRC. Of her 17-page report, only two and a half pages are dedicated for the real purpose of the report.

The rest is completely outside her mandate. Secondly, she has failed to substantiate the allegation contained in the report with evidence. Therefore, the Government has decided to reject the report based on these two reasons.

He said the Government’s response has already been conveyed to the UN Human Rights Commissioner and this will be further elaborated by Foreign Affairs Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the virtual meeting of the UNHRC to be held in March.

Minister Gammanpila said former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s decision to co-sponsor the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 along with the US has made an adverse impact on Sri Lanka. That is why Sri Lanka has an obligation to implement the contents of the resolution. Otherwise, we would have no such obligation.

“This is a traitorous act worse than signing the Kandyan Convention in 1815. The Kandyan Convention only surrendered our sovereignty to the British. However, former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had surrendered our sovereignty to the entire international community by co-sponsoring the UNHRC resolution 30/1. That is why we say it is worse than the Kandyan Convention,” he said.

The Minister said the LTTE had huge sources of income from money laundering, human and weapons smuggling, drug trade, television and radio channels and supermarket chains. Their main expenses were exhausted on their brutal terrorist activities and to propagate the separatist Tamil Eelam ideology. After the defeat of the LTTE terrorism in May, 2009, they didn’t have to incur any such expenditure as earlier.

Minister Gammanpila said at one time, the ‘Jane’s Defence Weekly’ Magazine published in the United Kingdom (UK) had estimated that the LTTE’s annual income was over US$300 million. After the LTTE was eradicated in 2009, they didn’t have to incur much expense although they continuously kept receiving that income. So, they began to utilise those funds to lobby politicians, academics, NGOs, journalists and international diplomats to further their cause. As a result of the LTTE’s post 2009 new strategy, we can understand why the UNHRC is biased towards them.