June 07, Colombo: United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay for the last time on Tuesday will address the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) where she will present an update on the activities of her Office before stepping down as High Commissioner in August this year.
During her presentation on the first day of the session, the HR chief will present her report on her fact finding mission to Sri Lanka in August 2013.
Ms. Pillay is also expected to announce to the Council that her office has assembled a team that would, as mandated by the Resolution HRC 25 passed in March this year, conduct the independent comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the last seven years of the civil war.
According to a release of a copy of the opening statement that is to be delivered by Pillay at the opening session on Tuesday (June 10), her office has put in place a staff team that will be supported by several experts and Special Procedures mandate holders to conduct the comprehensive investigation mandated by the Council.
The Human Rights Council will hold its twenty-sixth regular session from 10 to 27 June 2014 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
In her speech, Pillay has noted that investigation will "advance accountability and thus reconciliation." She has therefore, encouraged the Government of Sri Lanka to "take the opportunity to cooperate with a credible truth-seeking process."
She has also noted that although Sri Lanka celebrated its fifth anniversary since the end of the 26 year-long conflict, the scars created by terrorism and conflict are yet to heal.
Daily FT in an exclusive report last Monday (May 29) revealed the composition of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) investigative team that will probe the allegations of major human rights violations by both sides in the Sri Lankan conflict.
According to the Daily FT report, The team would be drawn largely from the OHCHR but also include two senior experts of international stature and consult with three special rapporteurs - on extrajudicial and arbitrary killing, torture and enforced disappearances.
The investigators will travel to Sri Lanka - if access is granted - and also North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region to gather evidence, the report said.
A well-known Canadian Sri Lankan journalist and columnist, D.B.S. Jeyaraj said that Pillay has finalized the appointment of UN Official Ms. Sandra Beidas, who was expelled by South Sudan for allegedly conducting an unethical probe into human rights violations in that country, as the senior coordinator of the team to investigate allegations on Sri Lanka.