UN to act on report despite objections

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is to implement recommendations in a report tabled at the UN Human Rights Council, despite objections raised by Sri Lanka.

The United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-nashif said that the report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, which was formally tabled at the Council on Wednesday, was amended to include changes after talks with the Sri Lankan Government.

She said that the final document was delayed by three weeks after Sri Lanka had raised some concerns and proposed changes.

Nada Al-nashif said that several models will be looked at to implement some of the mechanisms proposed in the report on Sri Lanka.

She said that existing systems like those implemented on Syria, Myanmar or North Korea or an entirely new configuration can be considered when dealing with Sri Lanka.

“This is entirely up to the Council to see what is the best fit for the discharge of specific accountability functions,” she said.

Nada Al-nashif said that the OHCHR has huge amount of material and evidence collected over the years.

The Deputy High Commissioner said the OHCHR enjoys a very open and frank relationship with the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL).

She also expressed hope that Sri Lanka will continue to engage with the UN Human Rights Council.

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told the Council on Wednesday that Sri Lanka rejects the recommendations made by Bachelet in her report.

He said the call for asset freezes, travel bans, references to the ICC and the exercise of universal jurisdiction by individual States points to a distinct and imminent danger which the international community as a whole need to take note of.(EASWARAN RUTNAM)


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