Sept 26, Geneva: Sri Lanka strongly rejected the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanetham Pillay setting a deadline of March 2014 for Sri Lanka to address concerns the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has regarding the investigations of alleged right violations.
Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha told the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday "Sri Lanka strongly repudiates the High Commissionerís assertion that if certain concerns are not comprehensively addressed before March 2014, she believes the international community will have a duty to establish its own inquiry mechanisms"
Presenting the report on Sri Lanka entitled "Promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka" through her Deputy Ms. Flavia Pansieri, the High Commissioner at the 24th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva on Wednesday said there was no new or comprehensive effort by Sri Lanka to independently or credibly investigate the allegations which have been of concern to the Human Rights Council.
She asked the Sri Lankan Government to use the time between now and March 2014 to engage in a "credible national process with tangible results, including the successful prosecution of individual perpetrators, in the absence of which she believes the international community will have a duty to establish its own inquiry mechanisms."
Responding to Pillay's report, Ambassador Aryasinha said High Commissioner had "no mandate to make such a claim".
He said having accomplished the task of bringing normalcy to the lives of the civilian population, GOSL has put in place "multiple mechanisms" to address concerns relating to accountability.
He underscored that notwithstanding Sri Lanka's rejection of resolution 22/1, the Government has continued with its commitment to the reconciliation process within the framework of the National Plan of Action on the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC and had kept the Council informed on developments.
Aryasinha strongly refuted the High Commissioner's view that "the human rights situation in Sri Lanka remains critically important".
Pillay called for the continued attention of the Human Rights Council to the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and said that she will be making recommendations in March next year on appropriate ways the Council could continue that engagement.
The Ambassador expressed strong displeasure to the "disproportionate attention paid to Sri Lanka, largely at the behest of parties with vested interests" which "considerably complicates the on-going delicate process of reconciliation."
"Sri Lanka is not a situation that requires the urgent and immediate attention of the Council. Sri Lanka needs to be encouraged, not impeded," the Sri Lankan envoy said.
Full Statement by the Ambassador