Sept 26, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has rejected criticism of its human rights record by Western countries saying it was being unfairly targeted in a campaign reminiscent of colonial era exploitation and domination. “Human rights must not be regarded as a new version of the White Man’s Burden,” Dayan Jayatilleka, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva said during a debate of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva this week.
“There is far too much naming and shaming going on and its flowing only in one direction. North to South, West to East; a handful of rich and powerful towards the rest of the impoverished.
“Now that is not in keeping with the spirit of universality and the Human Rights Council.”
According to the text of his speech released by his office, Jayatilleka said Sri Lanka does not think that any group of countries or any country in particular “has some special sensitivity, some special cultivated sensibility concerning human rights; some historic vocation, a civilising mission to defend human rights in our parts of the world.”
His remarks were in response to criticism of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka and perceptions that the governme