President Mahinda Rajapaksa told visiting U.N. Human Rights High Commissioner Navanetham Pillay that Sri Lankans possses a belief that the United Nations was biased in the manner in which 'the body 'deals with countries', and said that he had urged all those with such notions to refrain from prejudging the report to be submitted by the commissioner.
In a medai release issued by the Presidential media unit, detailing the discussion, said that many topics were discussed during the meeting.
"President Rajapaksa told Ms. Pillay that there is a belief among many Sri Lankans that the United Nations is biased in the way it deals with countries, and he said he urged those who voiced these concerns to him not to prejudge the report Ms. Pillay is due to issue" the release said,
The release said Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunatilaka Amunugama, Head of Mission of Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha and Additional Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Seneviratne also joined the discussion.
Following are excerpts of the release
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navanethem Pillay, when she called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees this afternoon, acknowledged the post-war progress that has been made in Sri Lanka.
“This is a visit long overdue, but I felt that it’s much better that I come so that I’ll be in a position to report on the very many achievements that have been made,” Ms. Pillay said. “Firstly, it was very very visible to me in the North how much you have invested in reconstruction.”
Speaking about implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), the High Commissioner said she was very pleased about the establishment of a commission to look into war-time disappearances.
The President and the High Commissioner also spoke about reports that depicted Sri Lanka as a country of religious intolerance, with Ms. Pillay saying she was surprised since Sri Lanka is generally known to have a culture of tolerance. President Rajapaksa described that these have been isolated incidents and that the majority of Sri Lankans continue to coexist peacefully in all parts of the island.