UN human rights chief stands fully behind her report on Sri Lanka

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet said today she stands fully behind her report on Sri Lanka.

She also said that a newspaper article quoting a senior Sri Lankan official “seriously misrepresents” her discussion of the recent UN Human Rights Office report on Sri Lanka with a Government delegation attending the Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 20.

Monday’s article in a local newspaper cited a member of the Government delegation, Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan, claiming the High Commissioner “admitted that certain facts incorporated in the UNHRC report against Sri Lanka could not be condoned whatsoever.” It also said he claimed she had advised two of her senior officials who attended the meeting “to be more responsible and cautious hereafter.”

“Neither of these claims are true,” Bachelet said. “Either the newspaper misunderstood the Governor, or the Governor misunderstood – or misquoted – me.” The High Commissioner said she stands fully behind the report and the oral statement she made when presenting it to the Human Rights Council, and that she believes it fairly and objectively reflects the situation in Sri Lanka.

“I am deeply disappointed by the spin that has been put on my discussion with the Sri Lankan Government delegation,” she said, noting that other news outlets in Sri Lanka were also continuing to significantly misrepresent the Human Rights Council process in Geneva.

In line with normal practice, the UN Human Rights Office report – which had been requested by the 47-member-state Human Rights Council – was shared with the Sri Lankan Government in advance of its publication.

The Government’s views were taken into account when finalizing the report, and a delegation of senior UN human rights officials discussed its contents with a wide range of Government officials during a visit to Sri Lanka in February.

The High Commissioner said she and her Office remained committed to assisting the Government and people of Sri Lanka to implement the Human Rights Council’s resolutions 30/1 (2015) and 34/1 (2017). And last week the Human Rights Council in another resolution (40/1) gave the Government two more years to deliver fully on the set of commitments it originally accepted four years ago.

Bachelet said the Sri Lankan Government should now refocus its efforts on fulfilling its obligation to provide justice and accountability for the grave human rights violations and abuses that took place during the conflict that ended in 2009, and honour its commitments to establish the truth about what happened and to promote reconciliation. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. I read the excited “Kamacho Talk” of Suren Raghavan at the UNHRC, lack of protocol in his private meeting with the UNHRC chief and talking untruth about the situation in Sri Lanka (SL). Untruth, is always harmful and destructive to self and others, and perverts thinking.

    The Truth never changes. It brings reality to life The truth reveals the good and the bad and makes a person to discern the right and the wrong we do, to us and others, and to fulfil the purposes of a truthful and fruitful life.

    The unequivocal; truth is that after four years of the Mumbo-Jumbo and secret diplomac y, after the UNHRC resolution 30/1, in 2015, failed to identify the Genocide of indigenous Tamils in SL and to suggest a concrete remedy ; though the brutal inhuman acts of military and the images of genocide were seen and hated by humanity all over the world. The motive of SL to exterminate indigenous Tamils who lived in that island for more than 25000 years was crystal clear.

    The first step the UNHRC should have taken, is to ask SL to stop denying Tamil genocide and implement appropriate reconciliation steps and restorative justice.

    Every child has a better sense of how reconciliation works: In the beginning there must be an unequivocal public apology, one sided, as a gesture of insight and goodwill.

    The courts, the judges and the judicial system in SL are incompetent and incapable. If the judicial system is fair and fast. The 26th October 2018 unconstitutional and forceful takeover of the government by Mahinda Rajapakse and more than 20 cabinet ministers. Though the Supreme court decided it as unconstitutional act up to now, the offenders are not arrested, locked up and charged in a court of law.

    The other matters are the war ended 10 years ago, the war criminals are not charged in a court of law, especially the big wigs. LTTE suispects are arrested and kept in prison for over 10 years but the soldiers walk free.

    Surely there is selective biased court action, judgement and punishment. The scale is never even for genocide based crime

    SL and the UNHRC are treading a dangerous path. 32 countries were in the Tamil genocide. My view is that individual court cases of murder, and disappearances of Tamils, will be filed by their relatives in exile in the USA, the UK, and European countries and others, seeking justice and reparations from courts in their countries or for the UN to respond. Surely, they will not sit like a lame duck, waiting and watching for next two years.

  2. Suren Ragavan is bit wet , when it comes to putting a “spin” to the story. he is growing up to be like ” Comical Ali” during the Iraq war.


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