Sri Lanka slams critics on Independence Day

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 04, 2014 09:10 hrs

Colombo, Feb 4 (IANS) Sri Lanka Tuesday has slammed critics accusing the country of committing human rights abuses as the island nation celebrated 66 years of independence from British rule.

Addressing the nation during the celebrations in the town of Kegalle, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that attempts to bring a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next month would be bad for peace, Xinhua reported.

The US is sponsoring the resolution on Sri Lanka's human rights situation following allegations the Sri Lankan government failed to address accountability issues over the final stages of a 30-year war against Tamil Tiger rebels.

President Rajapaksa said that critics tended to forget the hard fought peace in the country and also forgot the grave human rights violations committed by the rebels.

The president recalled that the rebels killed several people, including former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, but with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, not a single bomb had exploded in the country.

He said there is no basis for the allegations being raised in Geneva and his government would not leave any room for the freedom enjoyed by all Sri Lankans to be taken away.

In a separate statement issued by the president's office to mark the 66th independence anniversary, Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka's policy of non-alignment, with a commitment to justice and humanity, has brought it friends in the global community who understood Sri Lanka's trials in recent decades, and were ready to help the island go forward in freedom with the assurance of support in international forums.

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