UN officials visit not connected to Lanka resolution: Peiris

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 17:26

Colombo: Sri Lanka on Tuesday said that the visit of a team of officials from the UN Human Rights Commissioner Navy Pillai`s office is not related to the March resolution adopted against the country on its rights record.

The team is to arrive on September 14 to offer advice and technical assistance to the Sri Lankan government, months after the adoption of the US-sponsored and India-backed resolution at the UN Human Rights Council sessions held late March.

"The visit is not linked to the March resolution. We invited Navy Pillai 11 months before the resolution to make the visit," external affairs minister GL Peiris told reporters here.

"There were no attempts whatsoever by the government to block her visit. It will be an opportunity for us as we have nothing to hide," Peiris stressed.

Peiris said the team would be in Sri Lanka to create the background necessary for Pillai`s subsequent visit, which has no connection to the US moved resolution.

Commenting on the UN rights body`s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) coming up early November, Peiris said notion that it was directed at Sri Lanka was misplaced.

"This is not unique to Sri Lanka it is applicable to all 192 member countries of the UN."
Officials said the UN team would spend a week in Colombo meeting the government and the civil society human rights organisations.

The main elements of the UN resolution which urged expeditious action by the Sri Lankan government over its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) were that Sri Lanka should formulate an action plan, and that the office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner in consultation with the government of Sri Lanka offer advice and technical assistance on implementation of the resolution.

The LLRC report had dismissed allegations that Sri Lankan troops deliberately targeted civilians during the last phase of the civil war with the LTTE which ended in 2009.

In the immediate aftermath of the resolution, Colombo took the public stand that technical experts` visit was unacceptable since it was not a party to the resolution.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 17:25

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