Zeid warns Lanka on rights probe

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein today warned the Sri Lankan Government not to repeat the failures of the past.

Speaking at the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, after presenting his annual report, al-Hussein urged the authorities in Sri Lanka to consult deeply with the people, especially the victims, in order to design mechanisms that will work and not repeat the failures of the past.

He told the UN Human Rights Council today that a report on Sri Lanka was to be presented during the ongoing session but he had recommended that the report be postponed till September.

The High Commissioner said the decision was taken after serious reflection and acting upon the suggestion of the investigations group of experts.

10687082_976177132399094_5197097529095530609_n-450x300He noted that the decision to postpone the report was based on his assessment of the changing context in Sri Lanka, the broad signals of cooperation he has received from the Government and the possibility that new information will become available for the report.

The High Commissioner said that the Sri Lankan Government has invited him, the Special Rapporteur on Truth, justice, reparations, and guarantees of non-recurrence and the Working Group on enforced and involuntary disappearances to visit Sri Lanka before the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council in September.

He said that during this period his staff hopes to engage on the ground with all stakeholders to advance transitional justice issues.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that this is a singular opportunity for the Government to lay the foundation in justice, for lasting peace and reconciliation. (Colombo Gazette)