UN Human Rights Commissioner Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad, will visit Sri Lanka in June this year, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera informed Parliament.
Mr. Samaraweera said this visit was in line with the UNHRC’s new focus on Sri Lanka. He also said Sri Lankan forces were slated to play a greater role in the UN’s peace keeping activities in the future.
Mr. Samaraweera said it was necessary to clear the reputation of the Sri Lankan armed forces and to take action against the few members of the armed forces who had acted in such a manner as to tarnish the good name of the armed forces.
He said it was important to have a domestic mechanism to look into human rights violations as pledged by the present regime prior to the presidential election. He said, “Failure to carry out a domestic investigation will lead to an international investigation which might in turn lead to foreign intervention.”
“One must not treat the upholding of human rights as a western value. It should be treated as a universal value,” he said.
Criticising the drawbacks of the previous regime, the minister said the former administration had terminated ties with Sri Lanka’s traditional partners. He said the present regime would renew its ties with these partners in its effort to turn Sri Lanka into modern democratic state.(Yohan Perera)