Human rights groups have urged Sri Lanka to use its high ranking position received at the UN Human Rights Council to improve its human rights record and to put pressure on the LTTE to respect human rights norms.
The Human Rights Council on Friday elected the new President and officers of the Bureau of the Council for its second cycle. This included Ambassador Dayan Jayatillake from Sri Lanka being appointed as one of four Vice Presidents.
The internationally acclaimed University Teachers for Human Rights Jaffna (UTHR) is of the view the position on the Council would help Sri Lanka if the government was determined to use multilateral help to correct its present human rights record and apply pressure on the LTTE to respect human rights norms.
`If on the other hand it hopes to use the position as a subterfuge to continue in the same vein, it would be miserably exposed.
The Government stands so discredited that what its officials say is of little account in influencing perceptions.
But the position carries responsibility and when it is dishonoured the unfavourable attention is even greater,` Rajan Hoole of the UTHR told the Daily Mirror by email.
Ambassador Doru Romulus Costea of Romania was elected as the new President of the Council while Guillermo Valles Galmes of Uruguay, Mohamed-Siad Doualeh of Djibouti, Boudewijin Van Eenennaaam of the Netherlands, and Dayan Jayathilake of Sri Lanka were elected as joint Vice Presidents.
In a speech last week Mr. Jayatillake expressed deep respect for former Human Rights Council President Luis Alfonso de Alba and assured that Sri Lanka intended to dwell in its new home as a full and responsible member.