02/28/2014, 00.00
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For Sri Lanka's president, UN resolutions are "a headache"

by Melani Manel Perera
Mahinda Rajapaksa dismisses US Secretary of State John Kerry's statement reiterating US support for a UN resolution against Colombo. For the president, UN resolutions are a way "to destabilise Sri Lanka".

Colombo (AsiaNews) - "While the Geneva issue is not something to be concerned about, it is still a headache," Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa in response to a statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry concerning the human rights situation in his country.

Kerry yesterday renewed US support for a new resolution against Sri Lanka, which will go next week before the United Nations Council for Human Rights (UNHRC).

Sri Lanka "still has not answered basic demands for accountability and reconciliation, where attacks on civil society activists, journalists, and religious minorities, sadly, still continue," Kerry said.

Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke about the issue addressing a gathering in suburb in Colombo, noting that countries like Cuba had faced many resolutions and yet were not shaken.

He went on to say that during his visit to Cuba, the Cuban President told him that Cuba does not take the resolutions seriously, as the country has had to face some 60 resolutions.

"Even Israel's leadership told me not to be too concerned over resolutions which may be tabled in Geneva," Rajapaksa said.

For the president," some countries are attempting to use resolutions to destabilise Sri Lanka which has a strong and stable economy despite suffering 30 years of war."

The 25th UNHRC session begins in Geneva next week until 28 March 28.

The United States is expected to sponsor a resolution on human rights violations in Sri Lanka as it did twice before.

In previous statements, it emphasised Sri Lanka's responsibility for crimes committed during the final stages of the civil war.

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