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* President's special human rights envoy to lead Sri Lankan delegation to UNHRC
Fri, Feb 22, 2013, 10:37 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 22, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's special human rights envoy, Minister of Plantation Industries Mahinda Samarasinghe will lead the Sri Lankan delegation to the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Plantation Industries Ministry sources said.

A statement issued by the Ministry to local media has stated that President Rajapaksa had made the appointment last night.

Minister Samarasinghe, who was a veteran in representing Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions, told local media earlier that he was not part of the delegation to Geneva for the upcoming session.

Reportedly he was removed from the list on a directive from the President.

Earlier reports said Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, was to head the activities at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on behalf of Sri Lanka.

Minister Samarasinghe He will leave for Geneva on Monday while a group of officials attending the session has already left for Geneva. Another group is scheduled to leave the island for Geneva tomorrow.

He is scheduled to address the High Level segment of the 22nd session on February 27 at 11:50 a.m. Geneva time.

The UNHRC is to consider the report of Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) on advice and technical assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka on March 20.

The HRC will also consider and adopt the final outcome of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Sri Lanka on March 15.

Sri Lanka rejected 98 and accepted 111 recommendations submitted by countries at the Sri Lanka's UPR held on November 1, 2012 during the UNHRC's 14th session in Geneva.

The United States recently affirmed that it would present a new resolution on Sri Lanka at the upcoming session since Sri Lanka has not shown much progress in implementing the recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

Sri Lanka has said that it is strategically working to meet with challenges successfully and prepared to face any situation at the UNHRC session.



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