The Government says the report on Sri Lanka by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is not a criminal investigation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a response to the report, said that Sri Lanka took note of the Report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the recommendations made by the High Commissioner.
The Government response said:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka presents its compliments to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and with reference to the latter’s Note dated 10 September 2015 conveying an unedited advance copy of the Report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/30/61) and the Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) (A/HRC/30/SRP.2) has the honour to submit the following comments:
The Government of Sri Lanka,
-takes note of the Report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/30/61), and the recommendations made by the High Commissioner;
-is pleased and encouraged by the High Commissioner’s recognition of the efforts of the new Government since the Presidential election of 8 January 2015 in dealing with issues of concern for the people of Sri Lanka relating to human rights, rule of law, governance, justice, institutional and legal reform and reconciliation;
-appreciates the due recognition given to the Government’s constructive engagement with the High Commissioner and OHCHR aimed at addressing post-conflict issues that impact on achieving reconciliation;
-remains firm in its conviction to take all possible measures to ensure non-recurrence in keeping with the mandate given by the people of the country twice this year, 2015, at the Presidential election in January and the Parliamentary election in August;
-will ensure dialogue and wide consultations with all stakeholders especially the victims of conflict, communities, political parties, civil society representatives, the military as well as the High Commissioner and his Office, bilateral partners, and other international organistions in putting in place mechanisms and measures that will facilitate the right to know, right to justice, reparations and guaranteeing non-recurrence with the aim of achieving reconciliation and durable peace to ensure long-term progress of all her citizens;
-takes note also of the Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL), recognises fully that this Report represents a human rights investigation and not a criminal investigation, and will ensure that its content as well as recommendations receive due attention of the relevant authorities including the new mechanisms that are envisaged to be set up;
-remains open to continuing its engagement with the High Commissioner and his Office as well as the systems and procedures of the Human Rights Council, aimed at taking steps to safeguard and uphold the human rights of all her citizens.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the assurances of its highest consideration. (Colombo Gazette)