Rajapaksa cries foul at ‘international interference’ in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan president says the UN charter gives no powers to interfere in internal affairs of countries

PTI
First Published4 Feb 2013
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Photo: AFP<br />
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Photo: AFP(AFP)

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday cried foul over attempts to set the UN system against Sri Lanka, saying the world body’s charter did not permit interference in the internal affairs of nations.

add_main_imageRajapaksa made the comments during his address at the 65th independence day celebrations, marking the country’s independence from Britain in 1948, held at the eastern port town of Trincomalee.

“The UN charter gives no powers to interfere in internal affairs of countries”, Rajapaksa said, quoting Article 2 of the UN charter. Rajapaksa said that nothing contained in the present UN charter has authorised it to intervene in domestic issues. NextMAds

His comments came ahead of the UN Human Rights Council sessions beginning later this month in Geneva. The US has already indicated of moving a resolution against Sri Lanka. At the corresponding session last year the India-backed US sponsored resolution urged the Sri Lankan government to show progress on reconciliation.

Sri Lankan forces had crushed Tamil rebels in May 2009 after nearly three decades of brutal fighting. The conflict claimed up to 1,00,000 lives, according to UN estimates, and both sides are accused of war crimes.

Sri Lanka while formulating an action plan for implementation maintained that most of the recommendations were already put in to effect. Dismissing criticism against his government as baseless misinformation, Rajapaksa invited critics to “come over and see for yourselves”.

Reconciliation and development would be the best answers to false propaganda, the president said. He said Sri Lanka would continue to pursue a non-aligned foreign policy and would always uphold the UN charter.

“Sri Lanka’s foreign policy is that of non-alignment. It is necessary for us to build a new era in foreign affairs based on this policy. This is essential for the freedom of Sri Lanka”, Rajapaksa said. His government has ventured into forging new foreign relations links with Asian, African, Arab and Latin American countries.

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