The Sunday Leader

OHCHR To Seek Engagement

By Easwaran Rutnam

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is to seek cooperation and engagement with the Government to carry out the investigations into the war as proposed in the resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council last week, Geneva sources told The Sunday Leader.

However, if the Government refuses to corporate, then the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will conduct the investigations from outside Sri Lanka, which sources in her office say is possible based on similar investigations carried out on other countries in the past.

The Government insists it will not comply with the US resolution adopted at the UN Human Rights Council by providing any form of assistance for its implementation.

Special human rights envoy to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Government Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the Government will maintain its position that it is against the resolution.

He said that no country can force Sri Lanka to accept or implement the resolution which was passed by a majority vote in Geneva last week.

The Minister said that even before the vote was taken the Government had rejected the US sponsored resolution and he said there was no change in that stand even now.

“We had clearly stated we are fully against the resolution. They will now try to implement the resolution but we will not provide any facilities or assistance to those who try to implement the resolution,” the Minister said.

A Geneva source said that many international inquiries have not benefited from the concerned government’s cooperation and so it makes things harder but yet it is not impossible.

Pillay’s office also rejected the allegation that she has singled out and is targeting Sri Lanka on the human rights issue.

The Government had last week accused Pillay of being biased and having a set agenda on Sri Lanka which was seen from the time of the end of the war.

The resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council was passed by a majority vote last Thursday with 23 countries of the 47 member council voting for and 12 against, while 12 abstained.

The resolution was adopted after a long debate prompted by the Pakistani delegation which demanded a motion to postpone the vote over a funding issue.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said it will need over USD 1,460,000 to implement the activities mentioned in the resolution.

Pakistan then asked for the vote on the Sri Lanka resolution to be postponed until funding could be sorted to implement it. The proposal was backed by Russia and Cuba. Eventually the motion was defeated in a vote after the US objected to the postponement.

Pakistan had also proposed that paragraph 10 of the resolution be removed but that proposal was also defeated by a majority vote in the Council.
Paragraph 10 of the resolution states “Takes note of the recommendations and conclusions of the High Commissioner regarding ongoing human rights violations and the need for an international inquiry mechanism in the absence of a credible national process with tangible results”.

The resolution titled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ was proposed by the United States and had several countries, including non-member countries of the UNHRC as the co-sponsors.

In presenting the resolution the United States said that the document had 41 co-sponsors and called for the continued attention of the UN Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka.

6 Comments for “OHCHR To Seek Engagement”

  1. gamarala

    If Sri Lanka rejects a UN investigation,it will become a ‘pariah’ among nations of the world.
    Even now, ongoing human rights violations against tamils are ‘justified’ by a non-existent, invented ‘resurgence’ of LTTE which died in 2009.

  2. Harbi

    Let the Pillay Tigress have her investigations wherever she wants but not in Sri Lanka! The bets way to response is not to welcome Pilly or her band of Tamil racist morons sympathizing lot who are after monetary benefits not Human Rights preservation or protection. With the huge amount collected from Tamil Diaspora as bribe Pillay could take a good retirement from the UN when her term ends soon!

  3. tonie thiruppathy

    Para 2 reads: “However, if the Government refuses to corporate, then the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights…”

    The word should be co-operate and not corporate.

  4. Honestly …why waste valuable words and time on Pillay’s OHCHR, whether the pillay is of the Navinathan variety or the Velu variety.

    Only two words needs to be said to the OHCHR F— O–.

    Ok i’ll spell it out to to those bad minded people who might have thought otherwise…….Find Oil

  5. report may be ready in UK why they gave to use such amount of money.this report is ready and needs to just print.

  6. patriot

    Can any country, big or small, reject a resolution passed by the Council – and what consequences does that entail ?

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