COLOMBO, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka will continue to work towards implementing human rights, despite the withdrawal of the United States from the UN Human Rights Council, Cabinet Spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne, was quoted by local media as saying on Friday.
The U.S., which co-sponsored two resolutions on Sri Lanka, announced its withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Wednesday accusing the UN body of bias against Israel and failing to hold human rights abusers accountable.
Senaratne said U.S. withdrawal will significantly reduce the pressure mounted on Sri Lanka regarding the resolutions as the U.S. was the country which was pushing for its implementation.
However, he stressed the Sri Lankan government is committed to upholding human rights and will work towards implementation of all international treaties the country is signatory to, regardless of external pressure.
"As a country, we are committed and will continue to work towards upholding human rights. It is either that or we will have to withdraw from all the treaties we are signatories to," he said.
The U.S. quitting the UNHRC has also irked Sri Lankan local human rights watchdog, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA). Executive Director of the CPA, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu told local media that it was regrettable that the U.S. was quitting the UNHRC and reforms if thought necessary by the U.S. could have been brought about by being within the UNHRC.
"No country, as a member of the international community, should consider itself to be above criticism," he said.