Feb 24, Geneva: The Sri Lankan government has categorically rejected the call by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanetham Pillay to establish an international inquiry to investigate the alleged violations of international humanitarian laws saying that conclusions and recommendations contained in her report reflect bias and are tantamount to unwanted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign State.
The Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN, Geneva said in a statement that "a trajectory that has emerged with regard to the recommendation of the High Commissioner to the HRC for the establishment of an international inquiry mechanism reflects the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which she has relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka."
Recalling that the High Commissioner has called for an "independent, international inquiry" just weeks after the end of the war on 26th May 2009 at the 11th Special Session of the UNHRC on Sri Lanka and in three other subsequent sessions and in a report, the government said the reference in the current report that "the High Commissioner remains convinced" demonstrates her persistent efforts against Sri Lanka.
"It is pertinent to question the factual basis for the High Commissioner's initial formal call to the HRC for an independent, international investigation in May 2009 and its continuation, in order that the international community not be misled," the statement further said.
Responding to the concerns raised by the High Commissioner (HC), the governments said while the government rejects the initial Resolution 22/1, it has nevertheless continued to make significant progress in its own reconciliation process and Sri Lanka has continued to regularly update the UNHRC on such progress.
The government rejected the HC's claim that most of the recommendations made in her previous reports to the UNHRC remain unimplemented.
The Sri Lankan government objected to the references made to the UN Secretary General's Panel of Expert's report (PoE) saying that it was not referred to in the Resolution 22/1 on Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka and therefore alluding to it in the HC's report clearly takes it beyond the scope and mandate of Resolution 22/1.
It further said that the PoE report on Sri Lankan commissioned by the UN Secretary General was the culmination of a a private consultation that UN SG sought for his own advice , and is not the product or request of the UNHRC, the UN General Assembly or any other UN body.
"As it has not received the endorsement of the intergovernmental process, it has neither credence nor legitimacy within intergovernmental for a," the government statement pointed out.
The government statement was released in response to the draft report of the High Commissioner on 12 February 2014, ahead of her final report on Sri Lanka to be presented to the 25th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva on March 26. Edited version of the draft report has been made public.