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UN Report on Rights violations reveals findings of a "serious nature" : Prince Zeid

14 September 2015 - 201   - 0

  UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein speaking at the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session, said the report on the rights violations in Sri Lanka during the civil war have findings of a "most serious nature"  

Prince Zeid said on Wednesday he will release the report of the comprehensive investigation that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) was mandated to conduct in March 2014, including his recommendations

Zeid, however hoped that the new and more accommodative government in Lanka will address the issues stated in the report in a credible manner.

On Sunday, the Lankan delegation comprising Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Eastern Province Governor Austin Fernando, met Prince Zeid and briefed him on the steps taken by the  government to promote ethnic reconciliation since it came to power in January.

A lawyer’s team from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), headed by M.A.Sumanthiran, is also in Geneva lobbying with the 47 UNHRC member countries for an internationally staffed and directed mechanism to monitor the proposed Lankan domestic probe into charges of war crimes. The TNA also wants an international judicial mechanism to try perpetrators of war crimes.

The TNA’s stand on the UN report will be announced after it is released on Wednesday. It will also have taken into account the Lankan Foreign Minister’s address to the council on Monday.

  Prince Zeid's statement on Sri Lanka is as follows Mr President, Six years ago, we were confronted with serious violations and loss of civilian life in the last months of Sri Lanka’s long civil war. This Council has been deeply engaged with the need for accountability, as a necessary step towards reconciliation in that country. On Wednesday I will release the report of the comprehensive investigation that OHCHR was mandated to conduct in March 2014, including my recommendations. Its findings are of the most serious nature. I welcome the vision shown by President Sirisena since his election in January 2015, and the commitments made by the new Government under his leadership. But this Council owes it to Sri Lankans – and to its own credibility – to ensure an accountability process that produces results, decisively moves beyond the failures of the past, and brings the deep institutional changes needed to guarantee non-recurrence.   Read the full opening statement by Prince Zeid -

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