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Last updated: 28 March, 2012 - Published 19:27 GMT
 
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Sri Lanka needs to change says diplomat
 
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Sri Lanka could learn from Myanmar which has radically changed bringing democratic reforms in the country says Sri Lanka Ambassador to France, Dr.Dayan Jathilleka.

He told Sandeshaya that in 2009, Myanmar came under vigorous international pressure over its human rights record and Myanmar was defeated in a vote brought in the UN Human Right Council.

Changing Myanmar

“A few weeks after Sri Lanka won our battle in Geneva in May 2009, Myanmar lost in the same forum. It had the votes of India, Russia and China,” said Dr.Jayathilleka.

But, he said, today there is nothing levelled against that country because it is changing.

With defeat in UN Human Rights Council, Myanmar rallied round its neighbours particularly Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) and worked towards improving its human rights record.

Since then, he said, Myanmar has been achieving tremendous and incredible progress towards establishing democratic reforms.

"It became a more liberal country and even took steps to release the Burmese opposition politician and the leader of the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suuki", he said.

Dr.Jayathilleka said that it was how Myanmar had wisely got out of the trap of the powerful countries.

“Its success has even led Myanmar to become the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Countries ( ASEAN) next year”, he said.

Serious thoughts

Ambassador Jayathillka said that Sri Lanka should take the resolution passed by UNHCR seriously because that would not be the end and those countries which brought it may push it through in the future.

He said it would have long term effects on Sri Lanka as those powerful countries and organisations will use it as a tool and act accordingly.

 
 
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