South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

By Jamila Najmuddin

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations in Geneva says so far it has not received any report on Sri Lanka to be taken up for discussion at the next Human Rights Council session.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had said earlier this year that Sri Lanka can be investigated for human rights abuses during the last stages of the war only if either Sri Lanka agrees or if the UN Human Rights Council or UN General Assembly passes a resolution for such a probe.

When asked by The Sunday Leader if a report is likely to be submitted to the Council by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillai next month, her spokesperson said so far there was no such move.

“What I can tell you is that at this stage there are no reports on Sri Lanka to be considered at the forthcoming session, but States nonetheless have the possibility to raise specific country situations under relevant items of the Human Rights Council’s agenda,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights told The Sunday Leader.

Allegations of human rights abuses being committed in Sri Lanka during the final stages of the conflict continued to surface over the past several months and there were fears that Sri Lanka may face severe criticism when the UN Human Rights Council meets next month.

Meanwhile Amnesty International US Midwest interns held a signature campaign in Chicago last week to petition on behalf of Sri Lanka.

Jim McDonald, the Amnesty International USA country specialist on Sri Lanka, and some local volunteers also took part in the campaign.

Source: Sunday Leader – 07.08.2011