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Pillay trying to influence OHCHR investigations: EAM

14 August 2014 10:49 am - 28     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navanetham Pillay was seeking to influence the OHCHR investigation process, Ministry of External Affairs charged today.

The Ministry said in a statement that it regretted the comments made to the media by Ms Pillay stating that the United Nations could conduct an effective investigation into reports of war crimes in Sri Lanka without visiting the country.

Full statement

High Commissioner Pillay seeks to influence the OHCHR investigation process

The Ministry of External Affairs regrets the comments made to the media by the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navanethem Pillay, relating to the investigation on Sri Lanka that has been undertaken by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) following the adoption by a vote of Resolution 25/1 in March 2014. In an e-mail interview to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, High Commissioner Pillay states that “the United Nations can conduct an effective investigation into reports of war crimes in Sri Lanka without visiting the country.”

The High Commissioner who is scheduled to leave office at the end of this month making public pronouncements to the media on an investigation which has commenced onlyrecently is a clear indication of personal bias. It is evidence of an attempt to influence the investigation process and make it follow a preconceived trajectory. She refers in her statement to a “wealth of information outside Sri Lanka”. This is the same wealth of information that she has tended to refer to in the past, justifying it to be from credible sources, although their origins continue to remain undisclosed, and verification has not been facilitated. In fact the High Commissioner has desisted from acknowledging verifiable statistics of UN sources. Instead, she has sought to endorse exaggerated claims of former UN sources of spurious credentials by including such uncorroborated statistics in UN documentation. Utterances of this nature from an Officer who is expected to maintain the highest standards of objectivity is disappointing.  

 The prejudice and lack of objectivity on issues pertaining to Sri Lanka displayed by High Commissioner Pillay in the past are unfortunate. In fact, within a week after the conclusion of the conflict, on 26th May 2009, Ms. Pillay formally called for an international investigation into events in Sri Lanka, adducing a basis and in total disregard ofthe basic principle of international law, that national remedies must be exhausted before resorting to international mechanisms. This is a clear indication of the resolute determination with which the High Commissioner set out to pursue her objective of internationalizing issues pertaining to Sri Lanka, discounting and disregarding all internal processes even before they could be set in motion.

 In order to advance this agenda, the High Commissioner has repeatedly sought, through her reports and oral presentations to the Council, to confer an official status through the Council and credibility on the Advisory Report to the UN Secretary General. The allegations against the Government in this Report, in flagrant violation of natural justice, were drawn from testimonies shrouded in secrecy in view of the twenty-year confidentiality granted to those who had given testimony.

 In her statement to the UN Human Rights Council on 26th April 2011, the High Commissioner referred to Sri Lanka having conducted the conflict “under the guise of fighting terrorism” when it has been widely acknowledged that the conflict was against a separatist terrorist group proscribed by several countries. Such rhetoric by a senior UN official could place the credibility of the UN system at stake.

 Exceeding the provisions of the Programme Budget Implications arising from Resolution 25/1 adopted by the Council, the Office of the High Commissioner has chosen to unilaterally proceed to appoint three “experts” instead of the prescribed two. Moreover, ignoring the provisions of Resolution 25/1 which calls for the OHCHR to undertake a comprehensive investigation “during the period covered by the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission”, i.e. 21st February 2002 to 19th May 2009, the OHCHR has arbitrarily and unilaterally extended the period of its investigation to cover the period up to 15th November 2011.

 By comparing in her comments, the situation in Sri Lanka with those elsewhere, that too situations of emergency, the High Commissioner attempts to create a distorted impression of the position in Sri Lanka. Ignoring completely, the socio-economic and infrastructural developments that have taken place since the conclusion of the conflict, the High Commissioner continues to invite the attention of the international community to Sri Lanka where there is no human rights or humanitarian emergency which merits such consideration, intrusive action or relentless pursuit.

Sri Lanka has consistently engaged with the United Nations system including the Human Rights Council, Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures and the wider international community in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation. The OHCHR should seek to work with Sri Lanka in a cooperative, collaborative, constructive and transparent manner to further strengthen the State’s capacity to promote and protect human rights, in accordance with its mandate. High Commissioner Pillay, instead, pays scant regard to the ongoing delicate process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Ignoring the cultural sensitivities and value systems of local populations, she advocates retributive justice and coercive processes “as an avenue to achieve lasting peace and reconciliation” which in fact would only serve to destabilize the intricate balance of the process of national reconciliation and militate against stability and peace in the country.

 However, the Government of Sri Lanka is confident that the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, would be guided at all times by the principles of objectivity, impartiality, non-selectivity and equal treatment while respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and domestic jurisdiction of Statesin carrying out his mandate and in guiding the work of the OHCHR. The Government of Sri Lanka will continue to engage constructively with the OHCHR.

Ministry of External Affairs
Colombo
14th August 2014
 
Ministry of External Affairs
Republic Building,
Colombo 01.

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  Comments - 28

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  • WebSavy Thursday, 14 August 2014 11:21 AM

    Government made a decission to grant visa for independent investigators and now complaining that they are not visiting our country for an effective investigation. Dr gone mad

    Mike Friday, 15 August 2014 04:05 PM

    well said the puppets Minister is talking utter rubbish to support the Criminals Regime of Rajapakses - its been too long and shame the UN Dragging these issues for so long - over due to arrest and punish for their crimes against the humanity

    deshpremi Thursday, 14 August 2014 11:40 AM

    I wonder who will pay for retirement bliss, must be well guaranteed in a Swiss bank by tiger coolies for her immense services rendered for tiger butchery

    Saskia Thursday, 14 August 2014 11:50 AM

    What a rubbish statement by Ministry of External Affairs. It has no point at all. What are your credible sources? All those who point out your faults are incredible, right?

    omega Saturday, 16 August 2014 06:22 AM

    Await action by Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein,

    Cheran Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:17 PM

    "The OHCHR should seek to work with Sri Lanka in a cooperative, collaborative, constructive and transparent manner" - This is what OHCHR told Sri Lanka before 1st & 2nd Resolution. SL sounds like an Accused pleading to a Judge.

    Yuri Friday, 15 August 2014 08:02 PM

    SL gov should start investigation from July 1983 for Tamil women and children killed by Gov organized Crime

    Suq Madique Saturday, 16 August 2014 06:55 AM

    How funny this comment coming from you who is ever ready to believe any allegations against the SLA without any kind of proof or naming of credible sources.

    Gobi Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:28 PM

    If you are rejecting the OHCHR investigation then why do you talk about it a lot. Looks like Sri Lanka is more interested than any others.

    Mathu Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:37 PM

    SriLanka completely reject the OHCHR Investigation. Then why you peoples worry about the statement by Navaneetham Pillay, an out going Commissioner

    Ammaa Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:40 PM

    What is this. Are we mmad

    Nims Friday, 15 August 2014 09:27 PM

    Yes! you are correct. No one should judge others by his/her standards. But could you please explain why this Pillai has totally failed to bring investigations for the mass murders, genocide and war crimes committed by the US, UK, Israel and their allies during the past 3 decades. I am sure that you are aware what happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya etc and what happened and still happening in Palestine. Dont you feel that something is fishy with her standards?

    Izmy Thursday, 14 August 2014 12:55 PM

    The external affairs ministry has blundered again. Mrs.Pillay is still the head of U.N. Human rights comm. .and has all the rights to give an interview regarding the investigation about Sri lanka.

    dalu banda Friday, 15 August 2014 09:13 AM

    What has happened to that Dr. Mervin`s Proposal?

    Mason Thursday, 14 August 2014 01:13 PM

    EAM, cannot you for once say something sensible. Do not expect people to believe all what you dish out.

    L. Abraham Friday, 15 August 2014 10:14 AM

    Poor show.

    Abraham

    JJ Thursday, 14 August 2014 02:06 PM

    [quote name="deshpremi"]I wonder who will pay for retirement bliss, must be well guaranteed in a Swiss bank by tiger coolies for her immense services rendered for tiger butchery[/quote]
    Shows your intelligence....your diatribe gives an impression of your IQ.

    idroos2002 Saturday, 16 August 2014 02:19 AM

    Definitely y we should face any inquiry biased or not so that the real truth would be exposed

    kirthi Thursday, 14 August 2014 02:20 PM

    GOSL should stop whining and stop the petty personal attacks and show it can deliver justice for war crimes by all sides.

    kumar Thursday, 14 August 2014 02:21 PM

    Don't judge everybody by your standards.

    ramola Friday, 15 August 2014 11:27 AM

    Someone should investigate Pillay on bias and prejudice.

    Suq Madique Saturday, 16 August 2014 03:03 AM

    But Pillay is judging us by her standards?

    kumar Thursday, 14 August 2014 02:25 PM

    What else they can say? in a criminal's point of view, he has to find some excuses to avoid the inquiry.

    Packeer Saturday, 16 August 2014 03:15 AM

    The EAM statement is not sensible.

    mack Friday, 15 August 2014 05:23 PM

    its typical from SL to cry foul for every question put forward by international community. via DM Android App

    Dickie Bird Friday, 15 August 2014 12:52 PM

    Will the OHCHR question those 300K of people who fled from Nandikadal and surrendered to the Forces.

    This is a must, these people need to say how & when they got there and what they under went.?
    Why they decided to run away from their representatives the LTTE?

    Also, whether the meals provided by the forces and water enabled them to overcome hunger and quench their thirst?

    AJ SYDNEY Friday, 15 August 2014 01:01 PM

    You can bribe any south east asian diplomats, Austrlians, Malysians,Chinese ,Arabs ,Africans and Russians by giving
    diamond, women , house ,and cash but there are some honest people in the world who committed theire services to improve the humanity. Did Peris studied law or some rubish.
    So many tamils are studying in best universities in the world so you may not have Prbakaran or KARUNA BUT YOU WILL HAVE LOT OF PILLAI OVER THE WORLD SOON

    C.K.Lankaputhra Saturday, 16 August 2014 03:34 AM

    What ever said and done, what is to happen will happen.


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