June 26, London: Echoing the calls from the United States and the United Nations, the United Kingdom today asked the Sri Lankan government to fully cooperate with the international investigation mandated by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March 2014.
UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague welcomed the appointment of a team of experts by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to investigate alleged abuses by both parties to the armed conflict in Sri Lanka.
He said the investigation is an important step in establishing the truth and facilitating reconciliation within Sri Lanka and the UK has always supported calls for this investigation and played a key role in securing it.
Pillay Wednesday announced that former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Martti Ahtisaari, former Governor-General and High Court judge of New Zealand Dame Silvia Cartwright, and former President of Pakistan's Supreme Court Ms. Asma Jahangir have been appointed to the team of experts investigating the alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka.
The UK Foreign Secretary in a statement said the inclusion of the three international experts completes a strong team with a clear mandate from the UN Human Rights Council and urged the Sri Lankan government to fully cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR) in the investigation.
"I strongly urge the government of Sri Lanka to cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner and this investigation and to ensure those engaging with the investigation can do so without fear of intimidation or reprisals," Hague said.
"I also continue to urge the government of Sri Lanka to take meaningful, concrete steps to implement fully the actions called for in the March 2014 Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka, the recommendations of its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and to address fully concerns related to political settlement, reconciliation, justice and accountability, both present day and from the period of the armed conflict."
"As ever, the British Government stands ready to assist Sri Lanka in facilitating progress on these issues," he said.
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. and the UK.
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.