Thank You “China”
The report of UNHRC High Commissioner’s which was widely criticized by many countries due to its one sided and country specific stance on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, prepared by the Office of the Human Rights High Commissioner (OHCHR), was taken up for discussion, during the 46th session of the UNHRC, once again on 25th Feb 2021.
Of the 38 countries that spoke during yesterday’s session, a majority of countries spoke in favour of supporting Sri Lanka’s national processes to achieve reconciliation and accountability, while rejecting country specific actions without the support of the country in question.
However, the Western bloc, backed by countries such as the United Kingdom, EU and the US voiced support for the biased and one-sided contents and recommendations presented in the OHCHR’s report on Sri Lanka.
Representatives 0f Russia, China, Syria, Maldives, Venezuela, Cameroon, Belarus, Iran, Philippines, Korea, Pakistan, Gabon, Vietnam etc. speaking at the 46th session, welcomed Sri Lanka’s efforts to improve reconciliation in the country and applauded the readiness of Sri Lanka to continue working with UN mechanisms.
The Chinese representative noted that they oppose the politicisation and double standards of the UNHRC while also opposing the use of human rights as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.
China noted that they were concerned by the prominent lack of impartiality in the OHCHR report on Sri Lanka. It also noted that proposed targeted sanctions are a clear intervention in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs which overstep the mandate of the OHCHR.
The text of the full speech as below
Statement of H. E. Ambassador CHEN Xu
in the Interactive Dialogue on the OHCHR Report on Sri Lanka
during the 46th Session of the Human Rights Council
25 February 2021
As a friendly neighbor of Sri Lanka, China sincerely hopes that Sri Lanka maintains political stability, ethnic solidarity and national unity and wishes Sri Lanka greater achievements in its national development. We commend the government of Sri Lanka for its efforts to actively promote and protect human rights, advance sustainable economic and social development, improve people’s living standard, protect the rights of the vulnerable groups, advance national reconciliation and combat terrorism.
It’s the consistent stand of China to oppose politicization and double standards on human rights, as well as using human rights as an excuse in interfering in other countries’ internal affairs. We are concerned about the clear lack of impartiality shown in the OHCHR’s report to this session on Sri Lanka and express our regret over the failure of the OHCHR to use the authoritative information provided by the Sri Lankan government. The so-called “preventive intervention” and the proposed targeted sanctions contained in the OHCHR’s report are clear interference in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka and exceed the mandate of the OHCHR. We hope that the HRC and the OHCHR will strictly follow impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity and non-politicization principles, respect the sovereignty and political independence of all nations, respect the efforts of the nations for the protection and promotion of human rights, advocate constructive dialogue and cooperation, and abandon the practice of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and exerting political pressure.
Thank you, Madam President.