The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Wednesday set a March 2014 deadline for the Sri Lankan government to engage in a credible national inquiry into reported cases of human rights violation, failing which, she said, the international community would establish its own inquiry mechanisms.
In March, the High Commissioner will submit her comprehensive report with recommendations at the 25th session of the Human Rights Council. Reading out the statement of Ms. Pillay’s oral submission at the 24th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri said: “Regrettably, the High Commissioner detected no new or comprehensive effort to independently or credibly investigate the allegations which have been of concern to the Human Rights Council.”
The statement, which comes about a month after Ms. Pillay’s visit to Sri Lanka — during which she made strong remarks about the government turning “increasingly authoritarian” — also pressed the Colombo to initiate a clear timeline for demobilisation, disarmament and disengagement from civilian activities.
The oral submission also comes days after Sri Lanka held the first ever election to its Northern Provincial Council.
Meanwhile, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, told the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday that it was disturbing to observe “the growing trend of interference by some”, in the internal matters of developing countries, in the guise of security, and guardians of human rights. “It is timely to contemplate whether such movements have led to better stability in these countries, or produced different results, due to inappropriate external factors,” he said.