President Ranil Wickremesinghe expressed his strong condemnation of the recent burning of a Quran in Sweden, stating that such actions are a violation of the Freedom of Worship.
The President raised concerns regarding Human Rights Council’s lack of response against such an act of violence. He stated that HRC should not follow Western narratives in a way which creates division between the Global South and the Western value system.
President Wickremesinghe emphasized that the burning of the Quran cannot be defended as an act of Freedom of Expression. He stated that many people perceive it as an attack on religion and that certain Western nations have defended the act, attempting to expand the limitations of Freedom of Expression to include disorder, which should not be done. He also went on to request the UN Human Rights Council to define the limits of Freedom of Expression.
Addressing the burning of the Quran, the President also stated that while Sri Lanka has in the past failed to fulfil its international obligations. However, President Wickremesinghe reaffirmed his commitment to fulfil Sri Lanka’s international obligations.
Furthermore, President Wickremesinghe has instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to raise this issue with the Commonwealth Secretary-General, emphasizing the need for the Commonwealth to play an active role in promoting and protecting human rights globally.