The United National Party (UNP) has condemned the Sri Lankan government's decision to sign a China sponsored statement raising concerns with the United Kingdom's human rights record.
The joint statement signed by China, Belarus, Bolivia, DPRK, Iran, Russia, Sri Lanka, Syria and Venezuela urged the U.K. government to face up to its human rights problems, immediately stop all human rights violations, address the root cause of racial discrimination and hate crime, and carry out thorough and impartial investigations into cases of unlawful killings of civilians and other crimes, bring the perpetrators to justice and provide victims with remedies.
The party said that these comments by the government will only serve to jeopardise Sri Lanka's vaccination programme especially at a time when the U.K. has pledged their excess Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to countries around the world who are facing shortages.
While the country is desperately in need of these vaccines as 600,000 citizens are awaiting their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the UNP requested the U.K. government to not withhold the supply of these urgently required vaccine doses due to the comments of a few individuals.
Meanwhile, former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that Sri Lanka is the only democracy that has signed the joint statement initiated by China.
"...by adding our country's signature, Sri Lanka has thrown in its lot with the last vestiges of oppression and repression left, exposing the regime's innate contempt for democracy," Samaraweera said.