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'Distorted agenda with political interests behind UNHRC resolution' European Parliament member backs Sri Lanka

2014 Mar 24

By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

Member of European Parliament, Geoffrey Van Orden said that the proposed resolution against Sri Lanka at the ongoing United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) meeting in Geneva has been tabled with a "political interests with a very distorted agenda". 

Orden made this observation during the debate on Resolution on EU Priorities for the 25th Session of UNHRC in the European Parliament last week.

He said the spotlight has shifted off Zimbabwe, the Ukrainian people of the Crimea - not least the Tatar population, are again subject to bullying oppression. 

"Thematically, what about victims of terrorism around the world? What about the Christian communities subject to brutal attack in so many countries? What about the continuing African slave trade? Why do we keep picking on Sri Lanka?" he questioned. 

Orden went on to say, "There is a country that had the courage to deal with the terrorists after 30 years of conflict, which cost thousands of lives and almost brought the country to ruin.

 The government, it seems, hasn’t been forgiven for its success for ending the terrorist occupation of the North of Sri  Lanka, for resettling nearly 300,000 IDPs, for the rehabilitation of nearly 12,000 former LTTE cadres, a massive programme of demining, enabling thousands of acres of land to be brought back into use, the construction of bridges, roads, and schools, re-establishment of the rule of law (with  new police stations and over 1,400 Tamil-speaking police officers), and its own process of Accountability and Reconciliation through the wide-ranging LLRC process, he noted.

 He said that it was a pity that the Tamil Diaspora in European countries do not see for themselves the progress that has been made and join positively in reconstruction and investment in Sri Lanka. 

"I do not think for a moment that the Government of Sri Lanka has got everything right – why not invite a distinguished outside judge to join the oversight of human rights investigation?, he asked.

But this Parliament should not continue to be a spokesman of political interests with a very distorted agenda, Orden pointed out.

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