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UNHRC: Council members slam Lanka

UNHRC 24th session: Navi Pillay making her opening remarks

Several members of the UN Human Rights Council today slammed Sri Lanka over the alleged threats faced by people who met the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay during her recent visit to Sri Lanka.

The United States (US) urged the Sri Lankan government to make use of the UN offer of technical assistance on addressing human rights related issues.

Speaking at the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council today, the US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, said the US also welcomes the recent visit to Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

She said that Pillay was able to examine outstanding concerns on human rights, justice and democratic governance.

Meanwhile the European Union also welcomed Pillay’s recent visit to Sri Lanka and called on the government to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

The EU also raised concerns over reports that people who met Pillay had been intimidated or threatened.

Germany meanwhile said it was “appalled” about the reports that people Pillay met in Sri Lanka were threatened.

The German delegation said this shows the level of threats faced by human rights defenders and journalists in Sri Lanka.

The Austrian delegation urged the government to respond to allegations of intimidation, reprisals and attacks against local human rights defenders and journalists.
 September 9, 2013 
(Colombo Gazette)

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