Probe will not end by September

The domestic investigation into some of the allegations over the war will not be completed by September and only the structure and laws will be in place before that, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said.

Perera said that it will be difficult to complete the legal process before the September session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) had earlier agreed to defer a report on Sri Lanka which was to be submitted to the Council during its 28th session next month, to September.

24_05_2010_Vavunia_3UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and the team appointed to compile the report after investigating the war in Sri Lanka, had recommended that the report be delayed.

The High Commissioner stressed that the deferral of the report was “for one time only,” and guaranteed that the report would be published by September.

“This has been a difficult decision,” Zeid said. “There are good arguments for sticking to the original timetable, and there are also strong arguments for deferring the report’s consideration a bit longer, given the changing context in Sri Lanka, and the possibility that important new information may emerge which will strengthen the report.”

The UN Human Rights Council had last week defended its move to defer the release of a report into alleged war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war.

The President of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Joachim Rucker said that the decision to defer the release of the report on the human rights violations in Sri Lanka to September of this year was “very rational”.

In March 2014, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) – a 47-member State body – adopted resolution 25/1 entitled ‘Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ which requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights “to undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission” which examined the last years of the armed conflict. The HRC requested the UN Human Rights Office “to establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations, and of the crimes perpetrated, with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability,” with assistance from relevant experts. The resolution requested the Office to present a comprehensive report at its 28th session in March 2015. (Colombo Gazette)