The United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York says it backs the work carried out by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, while she was in Sri Lanka.
Farhan Haq, the Associate Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the UN also encourages respect for the work of all human rights defenders.
He was commenting at the daily UN press briefing when asked about reports that people who met Pillay during her Sri Lanka visit had been harassed by government officials.
“Certainly, we believe that no one should face intimidation for speaking to the United Nations. We also encourage respect for the work of all human rights defenders. And we, needless to say, we respect… we fully support the work that Navanethem Pillay was doing while she was on the ground in Sri Lanka. We may have more to say on this down the line, but for now, basically, those are the standard principles,” Farhan Haq said.
Earlier the government had said that if there was such intimidation or threats then details of such incidents should be provided to the government or the police to investigate.
Government spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella had told the Colombo Gazette that Pillay should be cautious not to be misled by false propaganda.
However he said as a “responsible government” they will investigate the claims if the evidence to back those claims is submitted. (Colombo Gazette)