Government to feel the pinch in Geneva

By Easwaran Rutnam (@easwaranrutnam)

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will open its regular September session in Geneva today (Monday) with Sri Lanka on the agenda.

President of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan of Fiji, will open the 48th session today.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will present an update on her annual report today, while the general debate on her update will start tomorrow (Tuesday) and will conclude the following day.

Bachelet will also present an oral update on Sri Lanka today, where she will note concerns over the failure to ensure adequate progress on the human rights issue, sources in Geneva told Daily Mirror.

Additionally, a number of countries are also expected to echo her concerns on Sri Lanka during the general debate.

The Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence will also formally present a report on Sri Lanka during this session.

Sri Lanka has already responded to the report in writing and the response has now been added as a comment by the State.

At the session, the Government is to maintain its objection to Resolution 46/1 and an external evidence gathering mechanism while a domestic process to address human rights concerns is underway.

In its response to the report by the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, the government has rejected claims of alleged “harassment, threats, surveillance” and invited all parties alleged to have faced such harassment, to submit their complaints to the different national mechanisms that have the competence and jurisdiction to receive and investigate such claims. (Courtesy Daily Mirror)

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