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* UN Chief welcomes Pillay's report on Sri Lanka
Mon, Mar 3, 2014, 03:06 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 03, Geneva: The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay's report on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva today.

Delivering the opening remarks at the 25th session of the UNHRC Monday, the UN Chief said he welcomes the High Commissioner's report on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka.

Commending the Council for its work on preserving human rights, the UN Chief said the Council's work for accountability and an end to impunity are critical.

He also praised High Commissioner Pillay whose term as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will end this year.

"High Commissioner Pillay has been a fearless defender of the most vulnerable," Mr. Ban said.

Pillay in her opening statement highlighted that in many parts of the world impunity is still rampant, and accountability based on the rule of law remains a dream.

She said the UN itself is required to protect and support those who contribute to its work, often at great personal risk.

"That is why I remain very disturbed of reports of reprisals against persons who co-operate with United Nations human rights representatives and mechanisms,"

During her visit to Sri Lanka in August last year, the High Commissioner criticized the Sri Lankan government for allegedly harassing the human rights activists who spoke to her by security personnel.

Pillay asked the government to issue immediate orders to halt this treatment of human rights defenders and journalists who face this kind of harassment and intimidation on a regular basis.

In her report released February 24, the UN High Commissioner called for an independent, international inquiry into the allegations of humanitarian law and human rights violations committed during the last phase of the war between the government forces and Tamil Tiger terrorists.

The Sri Lankan government has categorically rejected the UN official's report 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 High Commissioner is scheduled to present her report to the Council on March 26.

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