Tuesday, May 30, 2017 03:22:43 AM

DIVIDED NATIONAL UNITY GOVERNMENT NEEDS TIME TO PRIORITISE–Jehan Perera

By Samantha - Mon Jul 04, 1:13 am

The UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva no longer dominate the media headlines the way they used to. During the time of the previous government the UNHRC sessions in Geneva were utilized to rally popular support on the grounds that it was needed to counter the hostile intent of the Western-led component of the international community. The former government used to give the most detrimental interpretations to the intentions of the international community and gave the work of the UNHRC the maximum of negative publicity before, during and after those sessions. It accused the international community of seeking to punish those in the Sri Lankan military who had won the war and promised not to betray them. They gave a narrow interpretation to the successive resolutions of the UNHRC since 2009 as being motivated by the desire to punish Sri Lanka and its war heroes.

By way of contrast, the policy of constructive engagement of the successor government in office since 2015 has succeeded in assuaging the concerns of the general public about the actual nature of the threat posed to the country by the Western-led international community. Most people would now see the government as handling the international community with skill and with tact. More than nine months have elapsed since the government took the unexpected step of co-sponsoring the UNHRC resolution of October 2015 and turned former hostile countries in the UNHRC into friends once more. But the resolution itself is only implemented in part as yet. The pervasive culture of fear that existed under the former government is gone, but only one of the four transitional justice mechanisms that the government promised to establish has appeared, and that too only in draft form….

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