High level delegation to head to Geneva

MangalaA high level Government delegation will head to Geneva to gather support for the resolution on Sri Lanka to be co-sponsored by the United States at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa will be part of the delegation which will be in Geneva in time for the 30th session of the UNHRC, sources said.

The delegation is expected to hold talks with foreign envoys based in Geneva ahead of the vote on the resolution which will be taken on the final day of the session at the end of this month.

Sri Lanka will also be seeking support to counter any negative impact a report on Sri Lanka by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will have when it is released during the 30th session of the UNHRC in Geneva.

The report is expected to be critical towards the LTTE and the former Government who have been accused of widespread human rights violations in the final stages of the war between the military and the LTTE.

The report will also make several recommendations on steps which need to be taken to hold those responsible for alleged human rights abuses during the war.

The UN Human Rights Council will discuss the report on the war in Sri Lanka on September 30, during the 30th session of the UNHRC.

The draft agenda of the 30th session of the UNHRC notes that the report on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights will be submitted by him on September 30, followed by a discussion.

A delegation from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is also expected to leave for Geneva this month to hold discussions with UN Human Rights officials and the international community to gather their support for an international war crimes probe. (Colombo Gazette)