COLOMBO, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka has decided not to contest for a seat in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) during the elections this year, a top government official said on Monday.
The official told Xinhua on the condition of anonymity that the Sri Lankan government has not made submissions to be elected among the five countries from Asia for the council this year.
Elections to fill 18 of the 47 seats of UNHRC will be conducted when the UN General Assembly convenes in November at the UN headquarters in New York.
Sri Lanka lost the vote when it last contested for a seat at the UNHRC in May 2008 amidst allegations of human rights abuses taking place in the country, just a year before the military defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels following a 30 year war.
The government official refused to give a reason as to why Sri Lanka had decided not to contest for a permanent seat at the Human Rights Council this year.
In March this year Sri Lanka lost a vote at the UNHRC when a resolution was presented against the country by the United States.
The UNHRC membership is based on equitable geographical distribution, and seats are distributed among regional groups with the Group of African States getting 13 seats, Group of Asia- Pacific States 13, Group of Eastern European States 6, Group of Latin American and Caribbean States 8 and Group of Western European and other States 7.
As of last month Pakistan, Japan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) , the Republic of Korea and Kazakhstan had declared their candidacy for a seat in the Asian group.