President didn't give consent to cosponsor new UNHRC Resolution - Wijeyadasa

19 March 2019 - 90   - 0

President Maithripala Sirisena had not given his consent to cosponsor the new United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution to extend the earlier 2015 Resolution by another two years, United National Party (UNP) Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said today.

By Sandun Jayawardana

Speaking in Parliament during the Committee Stage debate of the Budget, Mr Rajapakshe, who now sits in the Opposition, added that only the President is legally empowered to decide whether the country should cosponsor such an international agreement.

He noted that this was similar to how affairs were run during the previous administration, when MP Sajin Vaas Gunawardena was positioned above Foreign Minister G.L.Peiris to oversee the Foreign Ministry. “He was empowered to slap our ambassadors. That was how foreign policy was decided then,” the MP quipped.

Even today, neither Foreign Minister Marapana nor Ministry Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, is aware of the decisions taken by the Foreign Ministry, Mr Rajapakshe remarked.

“This is because most decisions related to the Ministry are taken in meetings at the Finance Ministry. Some meetings are even held at the Finance Minister’s official residence. Ministers or Government officials aren’t attending these meetings. They are attended by NGO representatives and other friends,” he claimed.  

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