Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Eran Wickramaratne warned of severe economic consequences if the government fails to manage the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka.
"This government is stumbling from one crisis to another. Poor economic management, dismal management of Covid-19, and now to disastrous management of foreign diplomatic relations. The vote on the Sri Lanka resolution at the UNHCR showed how few friends we have retained. The lowest point in foreign policy management since the end of the conflict. The present resolution is heavily weighted towards the correction of the infringements of human rights of the past 16 months over the issues pertaining to the military conflict that ended over a decade ago," the former State Finance Minister said.
He said that an urgent fresh appraisal is needed to minimise the negative economic consequences of the resolution.
"We must not risk legal battles in foreign jurisdictions, travel bans, economic and trade embargoes. The economic consequences will be catastrophic," he warned.
He pointed out that the government has compounded its policy failures by appointing the wrong persons for defined tasks. He noted that the Covid-19 virus containment should have been led by health professionals and scientists from the outset while the diplomatic initiatives should have been led by foreign policy professionals.
As such, he emphasised on the need to have a fresh approach that will require the implementation of human rights initiatives as identified in Sri Lankan commission reports, where investigations and accountability are dealt with through domestic mechanisms that meet the concerns of the international community.
"Arriving at the truth is an essential part of the healing and reconciliation process. This coupled with a fresh diplomatic initiative could avert a further economic and financial crisis within the next couple of years," Wickramaratne said, adding that the opposition is willing to extend its support towards a progressive fresh initiative in the interest of all people.
The new UN resolution on Sri Lanka adopted yesterday (23) by the Human Rights Council not only ramps up international monitoring and scrutiny of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, but also mandates the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to collect, consolidate and preserve evidence for future prosecutions and make recommendations to the international community on steps they can make to deliver on justice and accountability.