ISSN 2330-717X

Sri Lanka: Thousands Protest Against UNHRC

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Thousands of people took part in government-backed protests across the country yesterday against a proposed resolution by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC ) on alleged rights abuses committed during the long-running civil war.

Around 3,000 people, including religious leaders, parliamentarians and government sector workers, gathered in the capital Colombo for the main protest to condemn the resolution, which seeks to press the government into holding an official inquiry into the alleged abuses.

Colombo has accused the world body of interfering with its internal affairs and hit out at certain western powers for backing the move.

At one point another group of protesters, including some clerics, marched towards the US embassy to try and hand in a petition but were confronted by riot police. Several protesters were later allowed into the embassy to hand over the petition.

Elsewhere smaller demonstrations took place in more than 150 other cities and towns across the country to coincide with the start of 19th session of the UNHRC in Geneva which began yesterday.

“Today we are here to show the world that we are united to protect our motherland and protect our war heroes from any foreign intervention from western powers,” state minister Champika Ranawaka told the Colombo gathering.

“We ask the US and other western allies not to interfere with the internal sovereignty of this country. This is an attempt to make Sri Lanka another Libya, Syria or Iraq,” the power and energy minister said.

Rights groups estimate that up to 40,000 civilians were killed in the final months of the war but Colombo estimates the death toll at around 9,000.

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UCAN

The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News, UCAN) is the leading independent Catholic news source in Asia. A network of journalists and editors that spans East, South and Southeast Asia, UCA News has for four decades aimed to provide the most accurate and up-to-date news, feature, commentary and analysis, and multimedia content on social, political and religious developments that relate or are of interest to the Catholic Church in Asia.

4 thoughts on “Sri Lanka: Thousands Protest Against UNHRC

  • Avatar
    February 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm
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    Earlier the Govt spoke of ero casualty; later on it said that a 5000 civilians died in the last days of the war. Now it admits to 9000. Perhaps next year it will revise to 40000.

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  • Avatar
    February 29, 2012 at 5:21 pm
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    Regulators being violators..US,UK and other western countries being the most dreadful violators of Human Rights do preach other countries which have more than 2000 yrs of a history of safeguarding not only Human Rights but also Animal Rights to protect human rights.This is something like a tiger is teaching the value of vegetarianism to a deer who is as such by heredity.Do not preach others when you cannot practice the same.

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  • Avatar
    February 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm
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    Regulators being violators..US,UK and other western countries being the most dreadful violators of Human Rights do preach other countries which have more than 2000 yrs of a history of safeguarding not only Human Rights but also Animal Rights, to protect human rights.This is something like a tiger is teaching the value of vegetarianism to a deer who is as such by heredity.Do not preach others when you cannot practice the same.

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  • Avatar
    March 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm
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    You say that thousands “gathered in the capital Colombo (in Sri Lanka in) protest to condemn the (UNHRC) resolution, which seeks to press the government into holding an official inquiry into the alleged abuses.”

    It stands to reason small autonomous nations have a RIGHT to oppose any UNHRC inquiries of alleged abuses until that body applies justice equally also to major governments guilty of human rights abuses, such as the US torture of prisoners in violation of international law or the murder by their drones of civilian populations in undeclared wars against the populations of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Let cleansing inquiries of the UNHRC of abusive treatment and violation of international law by governments start with major nations.. instead of bullying small nations.

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