By Kelum Bandara
The Foreign Ministry is currently in the process of studying what it should do at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly regarding the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) seeking additional programme budget of US $ 2.8 billion to implement the resolution on Sri Lanka, an official said yesterday.
The official said the Ministry would study the technicalities in the process and decide how it should respond to the situation.
The UNHRC has sought approval for such budgetary support at the 76th General Assembly to cover expenses required by the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to report on Sri Lanka’s situation as envisaged in the resolution.
The related cost has not been included in the programme budget for 2021 and 2022. The latest budgetary requirements’ that arose after the adoption of the resolution is to be brought to the attention of the
Of the estimate, US $ 137,400 is sought for general operating expenses, US $ 130,000 for contractual services and US $ 41,200 for staff travel. Besides, US $ 75, 400 has been sought to be spent for meeting participants and witnesses.
The OHCHR is to appoint 12 investigators in Sri Lanka for the investigative and evidence gathering mechanism. In seeking the approval for the programme budget, four trips have been proposed for staff members for fact finding, information collection and awareness rising.
Among the matters proposed to be carried out by the OHCHR are commissioning and analysis of satellite images and the establishment of an information evidence repository.
Pakistani Permanent Representative to UN in Geneva Khalil Hashmi who spoke before the vote on Sri Lanka said allocation of such a large amount of money raised serious concerns when the UNHRC was facing a liquidity crisis.
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