Sri Lanka slams Pillay’s report

The government criticized the report on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) today by the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang on behalf of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Minister and special envoy for human rights Mahinda Samarasinghe told the UN Human Rights Council that Sri Lanka had strong reservations as to the content of the report on Sri Lanka as well as the procedure followed in formulating the document, the Minister’s office said.

The Minister said the report refers several times to a report on Sri Lanka by an advisory panel appointed by the United Nations Secretary General despite the government requesting Pillay’s office to delete all references to the panel’s report.

He said Sri Lanka also had concerns regarding the conduct of the team from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) who immediately after their return to Geneva following a visit to Sri Lanka last year, chose to brief a selected group of countries at an event hosted by a third country even before sharing the outcome of their visit with Sri Lanka either in Colombo or with the Permanent Mission in Geneva.

“In sum, it appears that the report is the outcome of no more than an information gathering exercise that has served as a launching pad for a fresh resolution,” he said.

He also said that Sri Lanka had invited the High Commissioner to visit the country since April 2011 in pursuance of the ongoing engagement with her office but yet she had failed to do so.

“Despite her finding time to visit the region in the recent past, in particular her visits to the South Asian sub-region within the past 12 months, she has not been able to schedule a visit to Sri Lanka when she could see for herself the remarkable transformation taking place in the day to day lives of citizens after the defeat of terrorism in 2009,” he said.

The government requested members of this Council to critically evaluate the content and scope of the Report to ensure that an unhealthy precedent should not be established. (Colombo Gazette)