Sri Lanka will discuss the government’s plans in the post-conflict scenario and the telecast of an unverified controversial video footage by U.K.-based Channel 4 at the session of the U.N. Human Rights Council which commences in Geneva on Monday.
This is the first session that Sri Lanka is attending after the military defeat of the LTTE in May this year.
Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told the State-run weekly Sunday Observer that he would place emphasis on the steps taken by the government to resettle the nearly three lakh war-displaced, addressing their means of livelihood and looking after them until they were resettled, rehabilitating over 10,000 ex-LTTE cadres, and planning for economic development of the North and the East.
The Minister, on his way to Geneva, said he would outline plans to create ethnic harmony among different communities by promoting human rights.
“Basically we will discuss the new challenges that we are facing in the post-conflict era,” the Minister told the weekly.
The Minister will also explain the Channel 4 issue and its harmful effects to the country’s image. Minister Samarasinghe will meet the President of the Human Rights Council Martin I. Uhomoibhi, High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner for Refugees Jose Luis Gutteres and other Ambassadors and High Commissioners of various countries at the sessions.
“I will also explain to top U.N. officials about the Channel 4 issue,” he said adding that the sessions would be a good forum to explain the truth.
Meanwhile, the former Foreign Secretary and Sri Lanka’s new representative to the U.N., Palitha Kohona, who is now at the UNICEF Headquarters in New York will meet top UNICEF officials including its Secretary-General to discuss the issue of expulsion of UNICEF Communication Chief James Elder who was allegedly carrying out propaganda work supporting the LTTE.
Mr. Elder’s recent statement, which said children locked up in the IDP camps were dying of malnutrition, has been refuted by the WHO which stated that “the incidence of malnutrition in the camps is no higher than elsewhere in the country.”
TamilNet, in a report, said Sri Lanka’s technological refutation of the authenticity of a video of soldiers executing unarmed Tamil men broadcast by Channel 4 in August was based on a processed video-file taken from the broadcaster’s website, rather than the original mobile phone footage.
“An analysis commissioned by U.S.-based pressure group Tamils Against Genocide of the original video distributed by Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s subsequent technological refutation says Colombo’s experts looked “at a second generation trans coded video to derive erroneous conclusions.”