Sri Lanka against UN sending report to rights body

The UN report detailed violations allegedly committed by both the government and Tamil Tiger rebels.

Updated: Sep 12, 2011, 22:32 PM IST

Geneva: Sri Lanka on Monday took issue with a
planned UN move to forward a damning report on the country to
the Human Rights Council, complaining that Colombo was not
notified about the action.

Sri Lanka Minister of Plantation Industries Mahinda
Samarasinghe claimed that at a briefing on September 9 UN
human rights chief Navi Pillay "had informed a group of
countries that a decision had been taken by the Office of the
United Nations Secretary-General to transmit the report" to
both her offices and the Human Rights Council.

"The failure on the part of the High Commissioner to
inform the concerned state -- Sri Lanka -- was wholly
inappropriate to say the least," the minister told the Human
Rights Council.

Asked about Samarasinghe`s claim, Pillay`s spokesman said that "the issue had come up" during the briefing.

The report by a panel of UN experts released in April
detailed violations allegedly committed by both the government
and Tamil Tiger rebels, "some of which would amount to war
crimes and crimes against humanity".

The report had called for an international probe into the
violations, and asked that the Human Rights Council be invited
to reconsider the conclusions drawn during its May 2009
special session on Sri Lanka.

During that session, the council had adopted a resolution
praising the outcome of the Sri Lanka civil war which saw the
defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE).

The text condemned only the Tamil Tigers and "welcomes...
the liberation by the government of Sri Lanka of tens of
thousands of its citizens that were kept by the LTTE against
their will as hostages."

As an international commission could only be set up with
Sri Lanka`s agreement or if ordered by an inter-governmental
body, rights activists have been calling for the report to be
forwarded to the Human Rights Council to take action.

Sri Lanka has slammed the report as "biased", and a
minister in April said that "no one in the civilised world
would accept it."

Bureau Report