UN Human Rights Chief Yet To Decide On Sri Lankan Visit
By Easwaran Rutnam
A UN delegation, which visited Sri Lanka recently, is currently briefing the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Navi Pillay on their findings, a UN spokesperson told The Sunday Leader.
Ravina Shamdasani from the Communications Section of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations in Geneva said that Pillay is yet to decide on a proposed visit to Sri Lanka.
The delegation from OHCHR visited Sri Lanka last month as a follow up to a resolution adopted on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in March this year.
As part of the visit to Sri Lanka, the three-member delegation toured the north and also had discussions in Colombo with top government officials.
The delegation headed by Hanny Megally, Chief, Asia Pacific and Middle East and North African Branch of OHCHR included Oscar Solers, the human rights officer at OHCHR.
The government had invited Pillay to visit Sri Lanka to see for herself the post war developments in the country.
However Pillay had proposed that a delegation from her office first visit the country and prepare the groundwork for her visit.
“Ms. Pillay is being briefed by the mission delegation and will make a decision on this (visiting Sri Lanka) in due course,” Shamdasani told The Sunday Leader.
During the visit to Sri Lanka the delegation had met the Minister of Economic Affairs Basil Rajapaksa and discussed human rights issues in the country.
The Minister had told the delegation that the government has safeguarded the human rights of the war displaced people by ensuring a life without fear and uncertainly, providing facilities to start a new life in their original places, developing infrastructure and helping to develop their livelihood.
Rajapaksa also told the delegation that during the conflict the government provided food and other basic requirements to the civilians in the government controlled areas and LTTE controlled areas without any discrimination.