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GL accuses int. comm. & Pillay of making reconciliation harder

2014 Mar 08

 External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris during his meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navaneetham Pillay said that the highly prejudiced actions taken by sections of the international community and the Office of the High Commissioner to give disproportionate attention to Sri Lanka had only made the separatist diaspora Tamil elements and their proxies in the north more intransigent, making the intensely difficult task of reconciliation in Sri Lanka even harder.
 
He said the High Commissioner was well aware of the important political decisions the Government of Sri Lanka had taken in the restoration of normalcy to those affected following the conflict, channeling the necessary resources to develop the previously conflict affected areas and to enable the holding of the Northern Provincial Council elections on September 20, 2013,, which four previous presidents over 26 years had not had the courage to do.  
 
Minister Peiris made this observation when as leader of the Sri Lanka delegation for the 25th HRC, he, as is customary, met the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navaneetham Pillay on Thursday March 6, at the Palaise de Nations in Geneva.
 
Minister Peiris drew the High Commissioner’s attention to the objections he had made to the report submitted by her to the current Human Rights Council sessions where he had detailed the lack of objectivity and bias evidenced in her report which also called for the setting up of an international inquiry mechanism on Sri Lanka. He said the report was both one sided and politicized. He said it was particularly unfortunate that the High Commissioner should have done so after having the benefit of an extended visit to Sri Lanka where she was given unimpeded access. Noting that the High Commissioner had undertaken her visit almost 2 ½ years after the original invitation was extended by the Government of Sri Lanka, the minister said that he felt that some of the High Commissioner’s comments while in Sri Lanka and her final report represented a lost opportunity to contribute positively to Sri Lanka’s reconciliation process.  (KB)

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