OHCHR report on Sri Lanka likely to go public on March 8

The much anticipated report on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is likely to go public on March 8, The Sunday Morning newspaper reported.

Sources at the High Commissioner’s office in Geneva said that the date to make the report public has not yet been finalized but it is likely to be released in the afternoon of March 8.

Prior to that a copy of the report will be shared with the Sri Lankan Government so it has time to study it and prepare its response.

When contacted by The Sunday Morning, the Foreign Ministry said that the report has not yet been shared with Sri Lanka.

“We have not got the advanced copy of the report as yet,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saroja Sirisena said.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that the advanced copy will be shared with Sri Lanka closer to the date of making it public.

“These reports are shared with the countries of concern in advance.  This is a standard arrangement for all country-specific reports presented to the Human Rights Council.  How far in advance varies.  It could be a week or a few hours before publication,” an official at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights told The Sunday Morning.

A delegation from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was in Sri Lanka last week for talks with the Government and others.

The delegation had talks with the Prime Minister’s office, Justice Ministry and other officials on matters related to the implementation of the Resolution on Sri Lanka passed by the Council in 2017.

Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka met the delegation in his capacity as the Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The delegation, which included Georgette Gagnon, Director of Field Operations and Technical Cooperation for the UN Human Rights Office and Mona Rishmawi, Chief of the Rule of Law, Equality and Non-Discrimination Branch at the UN Human Rights Office, also discussed aspects related to the report on Sri Lanka by Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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