By Easwaran Rutnam
While accepting of submissions for the investigation on Sri Lanka by an investigation team appointed by the UN Human Rights office ended on Thursday, submissions which arrive late will not be rejected.
In the terms of reference of the investigations team, submissions were to be accepted till midnight, Geneva time, on October 30, 2014. This is to allow the investigation team time to analyse all the information gathered before drafting its report. Drafting needs to be completed at least two months before the report is presented to the UN Human Rights Council in March next year.
“Officially the deadline for submissions was October 30 and we will not be extending it. However, we are aware that some material may take time to arrive, so we will not necessarily refuse submissions that arrive late,” Rupert Colville, Spokesperson and Head of Media at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) told The Sunday Leader.
In order to establish the facts and circumstances of alleged violations, abuses and crimes by both parties, the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) will conduct a desk review of existing documents and information, including government and civil society reports, collect and document victims’ testimonies and the accounts of survivors, witnesses and alleged perpetrators, as well as seeking information from other relevant sources such as satellite images, authenticated video and photographic material and official documents.
The OISL will be supported and advised throughout by three independent, distinguished experts, namely Martti Ahtisaari, Silvia Cartwright and Asma Jahangir.