Navi Pillay Trying to Influence UN Probe, Accuses SL
By P K Balachandran | ENS | Published: 15th August 2014 06:00 AM |
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka on Thursday accused the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Navi Pillay, of trying to influence the on-going UN investigation into charges of war crimes and other human rights violations against the Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The Lankan Ministry of External Affairs has objected to Pillay’s telling the Thompson Reuters Foundation that “the United Nations can conduct an effective investigation into reports of war crimes in Sri Lanka without visiting the country by their own staff.”
The Ministry said that Pillay’s assertion is “a clear indication of personal bias. It is evidence of an attempt to influence the investigation process and make it follow a preconceived trajectory.”
“She refers in her statement to a ‘wealth of information outside Sri Lanka.’”
“In fact, the High Commissioner has desisted from acknowledging verifiable statistics of UN sources.
Instead, she has sought to endorse exaggerated claims of former United Nations sources of spurious credentials by including such uncorroborated statistics in UN documentation. Utterances of this nature from an Officer who is expected to maintain the highest standards of objectivity is disappointing.”
“In her statement to the UN Human Rights Council on April 26, 2011, the High Commissioner referred to Sri Lanka having conducted the conflict “under the guise of fighting terrorism” when it has been widely acknowledged that the conflict was against a separatist terrorist group proscribed by several countries.
Such rhetoric by a senior United Nations official could place the credibility of the UN system at stake,” the Ministry said.
It further pointed out that the Office of the High Commissioner has chosen to unilaterally proceed to appoint three “experts” instead of the prescribed two.
Moreover, ignoring the provisions of Resolution 25/1 which calls for the OHCHR to undertake a comprehensive investigation “during the period covered by the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission,” i.e., February 21, 2002 to May 19, 2009, the OHCHR has arbitrarily and unilaterally extended the period of its investigation to cover the period up to November 15, 2011.