Jt. Opp decries Hussein going beyond his mandate


by Dasun Edirisinghe

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein had insulted the country’s armed forces, judiciary as well as the administrative system while addressing the media after his four -day visit to Sri Lanka, the Joint Opposition charged yesterday.

Addressing the media at the Dr. N. M. Perera Centre, Borella, former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said that the present government had made the platform for Hussein to criticise the country’s vital bodies by co-sponsoring the US-led resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva.

"Prince Hussein clearly mentioned that those were the proposals of Sri Lanka as co-sponsor of the resolution," Prof. Peiris said, adding that the power to implement those proposals in the resolution had been given to Hussein’s by the Sri Lanka government.

Prof. Peiris said Human Rights High Commissioner had clearly mentioned that there was evidence against Sri Lankan forces and an investigation was necessary.

"Hussein wants an investigation based on evidence given by some unknown persons whose identities won’t be revealed for 20 years," Prof. Peiris said. "Hussein insulted our judges saying our judiciary system was weak and there were numerous unsolved cases."

Prof. Peiris said that President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would have to reveal their stance on Husein’s claims. He said the Joint Opposition in Parliament would oppose all Bills presented to Parliament to implement the UNHRC resolution.

Leader of the Sama Samaja Party and former Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana said they the UN rights chief had not given them an appointment.

Former Minister and Colombo District MP Wimal Weerawansa said that President Sirisena’s statement to the BBC and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s statement contradicted with the statement of UN Human Rights High Commissioner Hussein.

Former Minister and Ratnapura District MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera should resign for co-sponsoring the US-led resolution against Sri Lanka.

He accused Samaraweera for blocking Hussein meeting with the Joint Opposition.

Colombo District MP Bandula Gunawardena and Nuwara Eliya District MP C. B. Ratnayake also addressed the media.

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