Sri Lanka accuses UN’s Pinto of falling prey to NGOs

Sri Lanka today accused the former UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Mónica Pinto of falling prey to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) when compiling a report on Sri Lanka.

In a hard hitting statement, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told Parliament today Mónica Pinto could not have compiled a full report on Sri Lanka after spending just a few days in the country.

He said it was clear she was misled by NGOs and that the report was based on information provided by NGOs and not based on Pinto’s Sri Lanka visit.

Pinto’s report was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council when it convened for its June session in Geneva recently.

He said the report by the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Monica Pinto was harmful to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty.

He also accused Pinto of double standards, saying she did not submit similar reports or statements on some other countries.

The Minister said the government has sent its response to the report through the Foreign Ministry to the UN.

The Minister’s statement was a sharp contrast to the statement made by Sri Lanka as soon as Pinto’s report was submitted in Geneva.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Geneva Ravinatha P. Aryasinha thanked Pinto on her report.

The was the first visit to the country by a Special Rapporteur on the subject of the independence of judges and lawyers, and Ravinatha said the Government of Sri Lanka was pleased to have received the Special Rapporteur, especially at a time when, with the mandate of the people, received at two important elections in the country in 2015, Sri Lanka has set out to undertake reform pertaining to the rule of law and governance. (Colombo Gazette)