I attach great importance to the investigation on SL – says New UNHRC Chief

I attach great importance to the investigation on SL – says New UNHRC Chief

Written by Staff Writer

08 Sep, 2014 | 8:59 pm

The new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Al-Hussein, says he attaches great importance to the investigation on Sri Lanka. He expressed these views in his opening statement to the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva.

The 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council, commenced in Geneva on Monday.

This was Prince Zeid Al-Hussein’s first address to the council, following his appointment as the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Speaking at the council, he expressed following views:

“Moreover I attach great importance to the investigation on Sri Lanka, mandated by this council  on which OHCR will report later, on in the session. I encourage the Sri Lankan authorities to co-operate with this process in the interest of justice and reconciliation. I am alarmed at threats currently being levelled against the Human rights community of Sri Lanka, as well as respective victims and witnesses, I also deplore recent incitements in violence against the country’s Muslim and Christian minorities. “

Representatives on the council, expressed their views on the OHCHR investigation into Sri Lanka, following the High Commissioner’s statement.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha also expressed views:

“Sri Lanka wishes to congratulate the new High Commissioner on his appointment. Sri Lanka reiterates its categorical rejection of resolution 25/1, Sri Lanka continues its own domestic process of reconciliation using, as a basis, the LLRC action plan. Since the HRC last met in June, a special bureau for reconciliation is being set up, the mandate of the COI on missing persons has been enhanced to inquire into additional matters, and for the appointment of a 5 member international advisory council that includes internationally recognised lawyers, the bill on assistance to and protection of victims of crime and witnesses is due to be presented in Parliament tomorrow, and the joint needs assessment on resettled IDPs supported by OCHA is nearing completion, and the final report is expected by October 2014. Despite these developments, some refuse to acknowledge these and persist in heaping negative attention. Sri Lanka rejects assertions of threats levelled against the human rights community and regrets attempts being made to portray the country as intolerant of religious minorities. “

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