Saturday, 7 June 2014 00:16
UNHRC 26th Session opens on Tuesday
UN Human Rights Chief to tell HRC on Tuesday that team is in place
Urges Govt to cooperate with ‘truth seeking process’
OHCHR team to be supported by several experts and special rapporteurs: Pillay
UN Rights Chief to tell Council: Scars of terrorism and conflict yet to heal in Sri Lanka
Opening a UN Human Rights Council session for the final time on Tuesday UN Rights Chief Navi Pillay will inform the body of 47 member states that her staff team was ready to launch an investigation into allegations of major abuses during the last seven years of Sri Lanka’s civil war.
“My office has now put in place a staff team that will be supported by several experts and Special Procedures mandate holders to conduct the comprehensive investigation mandated by this Council in order to advance accountability and thus reconciliation,” outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will tell the Council when its 26th Session opens on Tuesday (10 June) in Geneva.
Pillay who will retire from her position after a six year term in office in August, will encourage the Government of Sri Lanka to take the opportunity “to cooperate with a credible truth-seeking process.”
“I note also that last month marked the fifth anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka, where the scars created by terrorism and conflict have yet to heal,” Pillay will tell the Council on Monday, according to an advance copy of her speech released by her office. Daily FT exclusively reported last Monday (29) the composition of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) investigative team that will probe allegations of major human rights violations by both sides in the Sri Lankan conflict, as mandated by a resolution passed at the Human Rights Council in March this year.
The team would be drawn largely from the OHCHR but also include two senior experts of international stature and consult with three special rapporteurs – on extrajudicial and arbitrary killing, torture and enforced disappearances, the Daily FT report revealed. The investigators will travel to Sri Lanka – access is granted – and also North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region to gather evidence and witness testimony.