AG says Govt. would take note of UN rights comments

Attorney General Mohan Peiris told the Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva that the Government would consider matters set out in the report presented by the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navaneetham Pillay and their implications for the promotion and protection of human rights in Sri Lanka.

He made these comments after the Commissioner presented her report to the Council on Thursday in which she said she is convinced that Sri Lanka should undertake a full reckoning of the grave violations committed by all sides during the war, and that the international community can be helpful in this regard.
She also said that the opportunity for peace and reconciliation continues to be marred by the treatment of journalists, human rights defenders and other critics of the Government.

Attorney General Peiris said that Sri Lanka expressed its firm resolve not to countenance or tolerate acts of violence or intimidation against journalists and human rights defenders and that necessarily involved taking adequate measures to investigate and punish perpetrators of any violence against those persons

“The very amorphous nomenclature of ‘human rights defender’ is used very loosely to encompass just about every form of activity however distantly associated with the sphere of human rights promotion and protection. Sri Lanka had to discourage persons representing themselves as such and making assertions for collateral purposes of political gain and causing embarrassment to the Government in pursuit of extraneous agendas in the name of human rights,” he observed.Commissioner Pillay welcomed the progress made in returning displaced persons, and hoped the review and release of security detainees could similarly be expedited.

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