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UN urges Sri Lanka to engage constructively with international community

2014 Jun 17

The United Nations encourages the Sri Lankan Government to engage constructively with the international community, to strengthen the existing domestic reconciliation process and to work towards lasting peace in Sri Lanka, a spokesman said today.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha this week announced that the Sri Lankan government will not cooperate with the human rights investigation approved by the UN Human Rights Council and being staffed by outgoing High Commissioner Navi Pillay.

Responding to a question from Inner City Press on Sri Lanka’s position, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said: “The Secretary General supports the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and commends the leadership she has demonstrated to assist Sri Lanka in advancing accountability and reconciliation.”

“He fully understands the challenges and complexity related to post-war processes, and therefore encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to engage constructively with the international community, to strengthen the existing domestic processes in a manner that is inclusive and respectful of human rights and to work towards lasting peace in Sri Lanka.”

In March this year the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) passed a resolution that called for an investigation into allegations of human rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka.

Kehiliya Rambukwella, Sri Lankan cabinet spokesperson, said that while the government would not be assisting with the investigation the decision as to whether or not the UN team would be permitted to enter the country would be decided by parliament. “The decision made by parliament will reflect the will of the people,” he said.

Sri Lanka’s party leaders met in parliament today and decided to hold a special debate to decide as to whether or not the panel appointed by the UN high commissioner for human rights would be permitted to enter the country.

The debate is to be held on June 17 and 18. Parliament will debate the proposed UN investigation over two days and take a vote on Wednesday evening, Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody told reporters Friday.

Opposition seeks credible domestic probe

Sri Lanka’s main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the Marxist JVP both slammed the UN probe and called for the government to agree to a home-grown inquiry into the allegations.

“We do not approve this UN investigation, but we want the government to set up a domestic mechanism to go into the recent killings,” said JVP leader Anura Dissanayake, adding that the local investigation should probe ongoing human rights abuses as well as alleged war crimes.

http://www.adaderana.lk/news/un-urges-sri-lanka-to-engage-constructively-with-international-community

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