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UN team to use sources in Sri Lanka

2014 Jul 01

The investigations team on Sri Lanka appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) says it will use sources on the ground in Si Lanka to obtain information related to the war if it is not allowed to visit the country.

Asma Jahangir, one of three experts appointed to advice the investigations team, told BBC Sandeshiya that they will look to obtain information from civil society and the media in Sri Lanka.

The Government has said that it will not allow the investigators to conduct their wok inside Sri Lanka but Jahangir says that will not be an issue.

She recalls this will not be the first time that an investigation has been conducted from outside Sri Lanka and she also insisted that the investigation is not against the Sri Lankan Government.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced last week that three distinguished experts have agreed to advise and support the team set up to conduct a comprehensive investigation of alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, as mandated by the Human Rights Council in March.

The investigation will look into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the last years of the armed conflict.

The experts are Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who has also served as a UN diplomat and mediator and is renowned for his international peace work, Ms Silvia Cartwright, former Governor-General and High Court judge of New Zealand, and judge of the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts in Cambodia, as well as former member of the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and Ms Asma Jahangir, former President of Pakistan’s Supreme Court Bar Association and of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, previous holder of several Human Rights Council mandates and member of a recent fact-finding body into Israeli settlements. (Colombo Gazette)

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