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Friday, July 12, 2024

Govt refuses to invite UN special rapporteurs before Navi Pillay’s visit

United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay has sought to dispatch ten special rapporteurs to Sri Lanka to assess the implementation of the recommendations by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the Daily Mirror learns.
 This is in addition to last year’s visit of three officials from the High Commissioner’s office to Sri Lanka.  Hanny Megally and Oscar Solera are the two officials who came to Sri Lanka in September last year.

 However, it is learnt that the government of Sri Lanka has turned down the latest request to send special rapporteurs from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Instead, the External Affairs Ministry has insisted that Ms. Pillay should visit   the country first to see for herself the progress being made in the post war area.

“It is the initial stand. First, a team of officials from her office arrived in the country and held talks with all the stakeholders. They came here to do the groundwork for her visit. We stick to   that stand. It is impossible to endorse further missions by special rapporteurs,” an authoritative source said.

 Ms. Pillay has been critical of Sri Lanka in recent times. Also, she sent a strongly worded letter to the government, criticizing the procedure adopted in the impeachment of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.

 The UNHRC adopted the United States-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka in March, last year.  According to it, the High Commissioner is required to submit a report to the next session of the UNHRC regarding the progress on the implementation of measures outlined in the resolution.
 Besides, the US has announced that they will move yet another ‘procedural resolution ‘on Sri Lanka at the next session to strengthen the previous resolution. The government is waiting to know the content of the proposed resolution to plan its next course of action. (Kelum Bandara)


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