Lanka invites Pillai to visit

The government has reiterated it would like the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillai to visit the country and see for herself the developments on the ground.

The government also says despite the setbacks caused by a resolution being adopted on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council recently Sri Lanka will continue to proactively and voluntarily engage with UN mechanisms including Special Procedures, Treaty Bodies and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to provide the international community with a comprehensive update on the related developments.

“We are hopeful that the invitation extended in April 2011 to the High Commissioner to visit Sri Lanka, will be availed of, to ascertain firsthand the many positive developments on the ground, following the end of the terrorist conflict.   As ever, Madam President, we assure you of our fullest cooperation in conducting the work of this session,” the Sri Lankan Mission to Geneva said.

The Sri Lankan Mission to Geneva informed the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that the resolution adopted on Sri Lanka at the last regular session had caused mistrust about international processes among the people of Sri Lanka and runs counter to domestic efforts.

Addressing the ongoing 20th session of the UNHRC, the Sri Lankan delegation said that the government continues to believe that the resolution was completely unnecessary and unwarranted.

“We are mindful of these concerns of our people, and will therefore resolutely pursue a home grown solution on reconciliation which has their endorsement. Considering the gamut of changes that the country has undergone in the post-conflict scenario, it is paramount that Sri Lanka is provided time and space to overcome its own challenges,” the Sri Lankan mission said in its statement.

The delegation also said that Sri Lanka remains committed to pursuing the implementation of the recommendations of its domestic reconciliation mechanism, the LLRC and some of the recommendations are already in a stage of implementation.

To expedite implementation, this process is directed by the Presidential Secretariat under the purview of the Secretary to the President. There are 135 main recommendations, with sub areas, thereby totaling 285.

For ease of processing implementation, the Government’s approach has been to designate them under four categories, namely those recommendations relating to national policy; the final phase of the conflict; human rights and security issues; and on resettlement, development and humanitarian issues.

Furthermore, while some recommendations would be implemented through the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) others would be by the relevant institutions.

The recommendations are dealt with under short, medium and long terms, and will be implemented in a structured manner through prioritization determined by the interests of the country and its people, in order to achieve sustainable peace and reconciliation through its domestic process. (Colombo Gazette)