June 10, Geneva: The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has put in place a team to conduct a comprehensive investigation on Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay announced today.
Delivering the opening remarks at the 26th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Pillay noted that last month marked the fifth anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka, where the scars created by terrorism and conflict have yet to heal.
She said her Office has now put in place a staff team to conduct the comprehensive investigation mandated by the Council in order to "advance accountability, and thus reconciliation."
The team will be supported by several experts and Special Procedures mandate holders.
The resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on March 27 requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to undertake a comprehensive independent investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka from February, 2002 to May, 2009.
The High Commissioner, whose term ends at the end of August, encouraged the Sri Lankan government to cooperate with the investigation.
"I encourage the Government to take this opportunity to cooperate with a credible truth-seeking process," Pillay said.
The Sri Lankan government has however rejected the UN resolution led by the United States and adopted by the UNHRC as a conspiracy by interested parties "seeking a regime change".
The Ministry of External Affairs announced that no permission will be given to the OHCHR team appointed by the High Commissioner.
Sri Lanka says an international investigation into the alleged violations of human rights is an infringement on the country's sovereignty and will lead to chaos in the country and damage the fragile reconciliation process.