The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says that national investigations into alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka “have not worked so far”. Ms. Pillay’s comment comes barely three days after she had talks in Geneva with Sri Lanka Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe.
Speaking in Dublin, Ireland, at the 5th Dublin Platform on Human Rights Defenders, Ms. Pillay said.
“The position that Sri Lanka has the unique office of a ministry for Human Rights, I thought, places a particular responsibility on the Minister for Human Rights to talk to his own government, not only on post-conflict rights violations but also post-election rights violations,” Ms. Pillay said.
Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told the Sunday Times that he had met Ms. Pillay for talks in Geneva, and that the one-hour discussion had concluded on an “excellent note”.
“None of the issues she is alleged to have brought up in Dublin were raised in the Geneva talks,” Minister Samarasinghe said. “The meeting was cordial and she was satisfied with Colombo’s position on the measures taken.”
The minister said the government would study the latest developments and respond appropriately. “As of now, it is only a media report, so it is difficult to respond. We will wait for the official version before commenting further,” he said.
Minister Samarasinghe said the Sri Lanka mission in Geneva had already been told about the latest developments and been advised on taking appropriate action. More than 100 human rights defenders from some 90 countries met in Dublin, Ireland this week to attend the 5th Dublin Platform on Human Rights Defenders.