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    » 05/28/2009, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    UN gives full backing to President Rajapaksa

    Melani Manel Perera

    The United Nations Human Rights Council has approved a resolution in favour of the government of Sri Lanka: army is no longer accused of war crimes; the conflict was an “internal question that did not justify external interference”. Access to refugee camps for Humanitarian Organisations will take place as Colombo government “sees fit”.

    Colombo (AsiaNews) - Sri Lanka has defeated the UN.  With 29 votes in favour, 12 against and 6 abstentions, the Colombo government has won the approval of the Human Rights Council  (Unhcr) for President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s strategy.

    The resolution passed on May 27th in Geneva establishes that the Tamil Tigers used civilians as human shields, relieves that army of war crimes charges and states that the conflict and emergency are “internal questions that do not justify external interference”.  Thus Colombo’s strategy in managing the crisis of 280 thousand refugees has passed the test.  Access the camps for Humanitarian Organisations will take place as the government “sees fit”.

    Mahinda Samarasinghe, Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister described the Geneva vote as a “decisive victory at this crucial time”, that “shows the endorsement of the international community of Sri Lanka’s efforts to resolve the humanitarian challenges in the aftermath of the conflict”.

    In favour of the resolution that approves President Rajapaksa’s strategy, were China, Russia, India, Indonesia and other Asian countries and African bloc nations. Against Sri Lanka’s line of non-interference; the EU, Mexico, Japan and Chile.

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    See also

    11/12/2008 SRI LANKA
    Refugees flee Tamil Tigers, but are corralled into government centers
    The government continues its propaganda in support of the war against the Tigers. Much of the population is unaware of the real situation of those living in the area of conflict. Rukshan Fernando, coordinator for the nonprofit organization Law & Society Trust: the refugees are living in precarious conditions, prisoners of the refugee camps.

    25/06/2009 SRI LANKA
    Six priests held prisoner and in solitary confinement in refugee camps
    Four priests of the diocese of Jaffna and 2 OMI missionaries who lived among the Tamil population until the last moments of the war. The conditions are on the verge of collapse and humanitarian organizations have their hands tied. The Army oversees the refugees in search of traces of the Tamil Tigers.

    27/08/2009 SRI LANKA
    Catholic priests and Hindu religious released from Tamil refugee camps
    The Archbishop of Colombo addressed the issue directly with President Rajapaksa. There are 5 Catholic priests. The Hindu Religious and their families will be resettled in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Jaffna, thanks to help of the local Church.

    16/10/2007 SRI LANKA – UNITED NATIONS
    UN finds human rights situation in Sri Lanka ‘alarming’
    In her recent visit the UN Commissioner for Human Rights called for observers to monitor abuses on the island. Minister Samarasinghe rejects the demand and claims government commission doing an adequate job. However, four of its members quit yesterday complaining about its uselessness.

    27/02/2009 SRI LANKA
    No ceasefire in Sri Lanka; war reaches UN Security Council
    The government is confirming its hard line, but the National Peace Council is reissuing the request for a ceasefire to help civilians. The Defense Ministry says that the area under the control of the rebels has been reduced to 58 square kilometers. But the communications minster warns: more attacks by the Tamil Tigers in the south of the country are possible.



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