After UN vote, Sri Lanka to shut few embassies in Europe

The EU voted for the US sponsored resolution asking Sri Lanka to fully implement the recommendations of an accountability commission following the end of the war in 2009. Reuters (IANS) Less than a week after the West voted against Sri Lanka at a UN human rights meet, Colombo has decided to close some of its embassies in Europe.

The external affairs ministry said Tuesday that the embassies in Europe that were not serving any purpose in winning support for Sri Lanka’s national issues will be shut and new embassies will be opened in Asia.

“President Mahinda Rajapaksa had discussed the issue with the government. It will now be decided exactly which embassy in which country in Europe will be closed,” a ministry spokesperson told Xinhua.

He said the move was not a result of several European countries deciding to vote against Sri Lanka on a resolution over human rights violations at a 22 March UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.

But the spokesperson quoted External Affairs Minister GL Peiris as saying that with almost all Asian countries, excluding India, voting for Sri Lanka in Geneva, it was felt that strengthening ties in Asia will be helpful for Colombo.

“The government has limited resources, so it is difficult to maintain embassies in every single country. So the government feels it will be more productive to have embassies in countries where we can gain something,” the official said.

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