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Friday, 15 August 2014 - 7:57
Pillay seeks to influence the OHCHR investigation process: says EAM

Ministry of External Affairs charged that the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanetham Pillay was seeking to influence the OHCHR investigation process.

Issuing a statement the Ministry of External Affairs regrets the comments made to the media by the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, relating to the investigation on Sri Lanka that has been undertaken by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights following the adoption by a vote of Resolution 25/1 in March 2014.

In an e-mail interview to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, High Commissioner Pillay states that “the United Nations can conduct an investigation into reports allegations in Sri Lanka without visiting the country.”

The High Commissioner who is scheduled to leave office at the end of this month making public pronouncements to the media on an investigation which has commenced only recently 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.

The prejudice and lack of objectivity on issues pertaining to Sri Lanka displayed by High Commissioner Pillay in the past are unfortunate.

Ignoring completely, the socio-economic and infrastructural developments that have taken place since the conclusion of the conflict, the High Commissioner continues to invite the attention of the international community to Sri Lanka where there is no human rights or humanitarian emergency which merits such consideration, intrusive action or relentless pursuit.

Sri Lanka has consistently engaged with the United Nations system including the Human Rights Council, Treaty Bodies, Special Procedures and the wider international community in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation.

The OHCHR should seek to work with Sri Lanka in a cooperative, collaborative, constructive and transparent manner to further strengthen the State’s capacity to promote and protect human rights, in accordance with its mandate. H

However, the Government of Sri Lanka is confident that the new High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, would be guided at all times by the principles of objectivity, impartiality, non-selectivity and equal treatment while respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and domestic jurisdiction of States in carrying out his mandate and in guiding the work of the OHCHR.
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