The government of Sri Lanka will protest strongly against the taking up of the Darusman report at the United Nations Human Rights Council both in Geneva and the General Assembly in New York next week, External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris told the Daily Mirror.
“We will protest the taking up of this report at the UNHRC sessions strongly, in Geneva and when President Mahinda Rajapaksa and I visit New York next week for the General Assembly,” Prof. Peiris said.
The Lankan delegation to New York will also address the issues of the impartiality of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay and breach of procedure in presenting documents not sanctioned by the UN at the UNHRC sessions. “During our bi-lateral meetings on the fringes of the General Assembly we will address these issues and call for even handed treatment to Sri Lanka in accordance with the formal procedures of the UN,” he said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Monday sent the report prepared by his Panel of experts to the UN Human Rights Council.
Minister Peiris told the Daily Mirror the occurrences that led to the surprise revelation, by a third party that the report by the Secretary General’s panel would be presented at the UNHRC sessions. A meeting had taken place on Friday 9th morning between Human Rights Council President Ms. Laura Dupuy Lasserre and the Lankan delegation.
“That afternoon we met with 29 other representatives, where we briefed them of the situation in Sri Lanka,” Minister Peiris said. At the question and answer session that followed after the meeting the Representative of the European Union had brought up the issue of the Panel of Experts report being presented at the UNHRC Sessions. “I was seated right next to the President of the Human Rights Council and she had no idea about this development,” he said.
“It is regrettable that this development was informed to both the country in question and the President of the Human Rights Council by a third party,” Peiris said. Therefore the government is set to protest what it calls “the malpractices of these ancillary bodies of the UN”.
The UNHRC sessions began on Monday and will continue to till September 30 in Geneva. The General Assembly began yesterday and will continue till September 22 in New York.