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'Govt’s effort to get deferral of UNHRC Report appreciable':Samarasinghe

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Former Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has stated that the success of the efforts of the new government to defer the presentation of the report of the UNHRC is appreciable. The present government's ability to get the UN inquiry report postponed from March to September is a plausible act.

Speaking further in the Parliament, Mahinda Samarasinghe said that there was a 30-year long war and there had been room for certain incidents and mishaps which we could term as collateral damage. That caused many problems to us. India and UK welcomed President Maithripala Sirisena and it was an honour to all of us. All we had asked for, was more time for a domestic inquiry. The present government was able to get that done. The UNHCR provided us with many opportunities after our victory in 2009. But we did not make use of those opportunities.

Mahinda Samarasinghe lamented had there been an attempt to make use of those opportunities, we would have avoided calls for an investigation. We have to cooperate with all nations to move forward.

Revealing that Sri Lanka was on the verge of being in a dreadful situation if the UN Human Rights Council had released its report on alleged war crimes committed during the last phase of the war, Former Minister Mahinda Samrasinghe said, the greatest achievement by the incumbent government thus far, was convincing the UNHRC and US to postpone the resolution for another six months.

He said:"Various people may say various things but as a person who frequented Geneva and faced the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka, I was aware of what was in store for us. If it was taken up in March 2015 as scheduled, the result would have been extremely dangerous for the country.

As a country which fought a war against a terrorist group for thirty long years one cannot assure that human rights were 100 per cent protected. Anyone would know it is not possible. Even though the previous government was able to win the resolution against the country in 2009, it failed to keep up the victory. We should admit that delay in taking certain steps locally and our foreign policy put us in a negative position internationally."

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