June 26, Washington, DC: The United States Wednesday welcomed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay's announcement of the appointment of three distinguished experts to the international team to investigate Sri Lanka's alleged human right violations and called on the government to cooperate.
Pillay Wednesday announced the names of three distinguished experts who have agreed to advise and support the team set up to conduct a comprehensive investigation of alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, as mandated by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March 2014.
Former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Mr Martti Ahtisaari, Dame Silvia Cartwright, former Governor-General and High Court judge of New Zealand and Ms Asma Jahangir, former President of Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association and of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan are the three experts appointed to the team.
The experts will play a supportive and advisory role, providing advice and guidance as well as independent verification throughout the investigation.
Deputy Spokesperson of U.S. State Department Marie Harf welcoming the UN rights chief's announcement urged the Sri Lankan government to fully cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) and its investigation.
"We continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfill its obligations to its own people and to take meaningful, concrete steps to address outstanding concerns related to democratic governance, human rights, reconciliation, justice, and accountability," the spokesperson said.
The United States said it stands ready to assist Sri Lanka in facilitating progress on these issues.
Sri Lanka has refused to cooperate with the comprehensive investigation mandated to the OHCHR by the adoption of the UNHRC resolution 25/1 sponsored by the U.S.
The Sri Lankan parliament on June 18 passed a motion against the UN investigation and accordingly the parliament has decided to deny permission for the UN investigation team to enter the country.
Announcing the experts to the panel, the High Commissioner asked the Sri Lankan government to cooperate with the investigation which will still continue even if the government refuses to cooperate.