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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Christof Heyns, the UN Expert on Extra Judicial Killings Wants to Visit Sri Lanka

(Christof Heyns)

Encouraged by the government’s progress on human rights in Sri Lanka, a top UN rights official has said he wants to visit the country as it has become more “receptive” to working with the world body.

Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur on extra judicial, summary or arbitrary executions said he is awaiting Sri Lanka’s invitation to him to visit, a statement said, the PTI reported.

Heyns said Sri Lanka stands out as the most defining moment when carrying out his mandate in 2015, it said.

“They have accepted some of the other mandates but not my mandate, But I have a standing request to the government to visit Sri Lanka”, he said.

“Accountability is the central point in protecting the right to life and I am encouraged by the progress made in Sri Lanka and the government has been receptive,” Heyns said.

As per the UN Human Rights Council resolution of 2014, Sri Lanka was expected to allow visits by UN rapporteurs.

However, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa denied them permission to visit.

But under Rajapaksa’s successor Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka has becoming more amenable to the UN system as last month a team from the UN Working Group on Disappearances visited the island.

The latest October 1 UNHRC resolution seeks to set up a local mechanism to investigate war crimes allegations during the last stages of the civil war with the LTTE that ended in 2009.

(Original caption: Top UN Official Encouraged by Lanka Progress on Human Rights)
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