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Govt. to resist OHCHR probe

2014 Sep 13

BY FAIZER SHAHEID


Following the comments made by the newly appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, the government reiterated its stance of non-cooperation with the international investigation, conducted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
 
Prince Al-Hussein had voiced his concern on the rising violence against the Muslim and Christian minorities. He also said it was of utmost importance that Sri Lanka cooperated with the international investigation commenced by the OHCHR.
 

Presidential Spokesman, Mohan Samaranayake, quoted President Mahinda Rajapaksa as saying that Sri Lanka is ready to cooperate with the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) and the international community at large. However, Sri Lanka would hold on to its decision choosing not to cooperate with the OHCHR investigation as it was unfair and biased.
 

"We have already devised mechanisms to address the issues that have been highlighted. We have the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report and now the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP). True, it may take some time, but that is how it is with all investigative commissions," he said.
 

Sri Lanka had chosen to cooperate when the former High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham Pillay, when she arrived in the country, he said. Similarly, he also said Sri Lanka had cooperated with others, but in the wake of bias, it was unlikely that Sri Lanka would cooperate with the OHCHR investigation.
 

Addressing the Prince Al-Hussein's concern for violence, Samaranayake said that such racism was not present in the country. A few incidents that had been portrayed as being racist in nature had been misconstrued by the international community, he said. He also said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would not permit racism to creep into the system and disrupt the peace.

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