The government today said that the decision to shift some Diplomatic Missions from the West has nothing to do with the resolution that was passed at the UNHRC last week.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L Peiris stated that the decision to shift the focus of establishing diplomatic missions from the West to Africa was one that predated the passing of the resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council Sessions in Geneva.
According to media reports Sri Lankan Diplomatic Missions in Europe were to be closed and one single Mission was to be established to oversee the affairs of Poland, Netherlands, Austria Norway and Sweden. However the Missions in Britain, France, Germany and the European Union would remain. In lieu of these Missions the Ministry is to establish Diplomatic Missions in Africa, Latin America and Asia
“We have a limited number of resources and these have to be allocated to the most strategic locations. We have for instance only four Missions on the African continent. Therefore we felt it was important to shift focus to these areas, it was a decision taken before the resolution in Geneva,” he said
Meanwhile when questioned on the letter sent by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to President Mahinda Rajapakasa claiming that the Indian delegation made every effort to defuse the tense situation in Geneva after the statement made by him in the Indian parliament, Prof. Peiris said that the focus needed to be, not on these efforts but on the final vote.
“It does not matter what action they took after the statement by the Prime Minister was made in the Indian parliament, that India would support the US resolution. We must look at the final vote—the timing, manner and force of that statement made a visible change in Geneva,” he said.