Easter attacks response showed human rights upheld while countering terrorism | Daily News

Foreign Min. Secy address to UN General Assembly:

Easter attacks response showed human rights upheld while countering terrorism

Foreign Ministry Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha has told the annual United Nations’ General Assembly in New York that the days after the Easter Sunday terror attacks proved to be a ‘litmus test’ for Sri Lanka and the country had kept her resolve to adhere to human rights while determinedly countering terrorism.

“The post Easter attack period has proved to be a ‘litmus test’ to Sri Lanka’s resolve to adhere to human rights standards, while fighting terrorism, and also determine the strengths and shortcomings of the democratic institutions that have been strengthened in recent years,” he told the 74th annual session of the General Assembly, in his address on behalf of Sri Lanka.

The post-Easter response had “prompted a careful and meticulous review of counter terrorism regulations”, he added.

“A Ministerial Committee headed by Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, is studying the proposed amendments to the draft counter terrorism legislation. Sri Lanka is also consulting with partners over domestic legislation that would make us compliant with recent Security Council resolutions on combating terrorism - relating to terrorist financing, border security, returning terrorist fighters and countering violent extremism.”

He added that the past five months have demanded that Sri Lanka be resolute in governance. “If we are to truly overcome these challenges, we must move to incorporate a ‘whole of society’ approach to that with a ‘whole of government’ approach.”

Aryasinha also voiced concerns that Sri Lanka held over the deteriorating situation in Palestine, reiterating its stance on the early implementation of the UN General Assembly resolutions over the inalienable rights of the Palestine people and the attainment of the two-state solution to the long drawn conflict.

He also appraised the General Assembly that there has been significant progress in addressing the many facets arising from the conflict, including the establishment of the Office of Missing Persons, Office of reparations. “The Cabinet of Ministers is also discussing the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

Referring to this year’s theme of General Assembly debate, he stressed that as Sri Lanka reviews the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda, it is clear that substantial progress has been made in achieving the SDGs. “Yet, the end of the road is a long way off, with increasingly devastating impacts of climate change threatening to reverse these gains and impede our path to development.”

“Sri Lanka is deeply conscious of the impact of climate change.Though a low emission country, it has been compelled to bear the brunt of extreme and persistent adverse weather conditions of longer droughts and frequent floods generated by rising temperatures and sea levels. This has caused significant loss of life and serious damage to property and infrastructure, slowing down economic growth and impeding progress.”



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