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Thursday, 14 December 2017
Thursday, 14 December 2017 | Sri Lanka Watch
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“Time is required to settle HR Issues” - Mahinda Samarasinghe. PDF Print E-mail
Giving an interview to the Sinhala daily newspaper Lankadeepa Human Rights Affaires and Disaster Managemet Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe deals with number of issues that have been raised by the EU, US and the foreign Press in recent times. Q. Accusations coming from the internationality on Human Rights violations are not yet over?
A. This is not a new thing and these issues were there during the last 4 year period when I held the ministry of human rights and disaster management. We have proper plan to face these accusations and they have not been able to excite us.

Q. America has issued a statement that even the Sri Lankan Govt has committed Human Rights violation during the war and what would be the Govt reactions towards them?
A. wrong interpretation have inflated the issue and a group has handed over to the American congress a report over the incidents took place in Sri Lanka during the period of January to May when the American congress presented a financial bill to quantify the finance that would be released to Sri Lanka. The above report is not a document what came from the Govt of America or Its foreign ministry but a thing that a group handed over to satisfy the needs of a MP from the congress. In the meantime the American foreign ministry has said that they do not have the certification to confirm the reliability of the information and also it is said that many organizations have provided information to American govt in the above connection. I do not think that America is making use the above report against Sri Lanka because certain complaints received against Sri Lanka do not even have its sources. However the speculations are such that the report is making War crime charges against us and making an effort to take us before the War Crime investigative courts

Q. What are the Aims and functions of the above committee?
A. America appointed the committee to obtain a full report over the incidents and they will publish the outcome after once the investigations are over. We promptly thanked America for appointing the above committee.

Q. Many refuges are caught on their war to foreign countries and what is the reaction of the Govt in the above regard?

A. I have discussed the issue with the Australian ambassador and the illicit migration has becomes a serious political issue in those countries. However we do not like to see that any disgrace is done to the country. They are trying to enter foreign countries after making a wrong picture and we have advised the security sections to bring the above situation under control urgently and we are going to arrest the level team who is fuelling the refugee transportation. It will not be easy to obtain the Political asylum from those countries after during the past war peaceful period.

Q. Has not the EU informed us that they are not happy over the Human Rights Situation and to strengthen the process of protecting Human rights in Sri Lanka?
A. There are political story tellers in EU as in Sri Lanka and However we are engaged in a constant dialog with Brussels and Sri Lankan diplomats in these countries always maintain a close dialog with them .I believe that we will receive the GSP and even if we do not receive the tax exemption they will only postpone the granting GSP as we have told them that we are prepared to settle any issues through the dialogs. We are going to produce an action plan supporting with a time table to prove that the country is planning a strategy to follow and protect Human Rights situation in Sri Lanka.
But we cannot say that we do not have any issues but the Time is needed to solve them and they also should support us to solve them. We cannot solve the issues that lasted over 30 years with in period of 6 months\and we continuing to solve these issues according to a proper plan and if they still decide to cancel the GSP that will be a big injustice done to us. However I do not trust that they will cancel GSP.

Q. The Govt has not replied the EU report although it has granted an extension for us to reply their report?
A. The cabinet took a decision not to reply the report send by the EU as such action will affect the Sovereignty of the country but we are continuing to hold the discussions with them.

Q. The Govt did not come out with a clear reply after the opposition parties suggested to reach a merger over the protection of Basic Rights of public and to guarantee the media freedom in attempt to receive GSP?
A. I cannot reply your question as I have to consult the president in this connection.
The opposition members are aware that we are going to receive the GSP and as indicated their support towards the latter part of the war we wonder if they are now trying to support the Govt to receive the above and the dialog are not required in this connections and they can tell the whole world not to cancel the above as only the very poor women are going to affect if the EU cancel its tax concession.

Q. There are international accusations that Govt does not pay the required attention in resettling the IDPs.
A. Anyone can see a fast progress in the resettlement process and we have resettled over 58000 IDPs over the last two weeks and we also have so far resettled over 100,000 IDPs. Every day over 5000 IDPs are resettled from Manikfarm camp and the amount of IDPs have now come down to about 158000 in the above and when no one came to help us the Govt purchased 14 de mining machines and it also going to buy another 14 machines to speed up the removal of land mines.

Q. How long it will take to end the resettlement programme?
A. The president will prove that the majority of them will be resettled before the January 2010 and we will resettle the maximum by this time.
 
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