Boycott won’t deprive GoSL

of chance to counter charges

‘Inquisition’ team still remains a mystery


UN Probe

by Shamindra Ferdinando

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Spokesperson Rupert Colville said that the Sri Lankan government could provide comments on both the oral statement and comprehensive report in September and March 2015, respectively, though it wasn’t cooperating with the investigation.

Colville was responding to a query by The Island as regards a July 5, 2014 dated letter sent by Human Rights chief Navanethem Pillay to External Affairs Minister Prof G. L. Peiris seeking Sri Lanka’s cooperation to proceed with the investigation. Pillay assured Prof. Peiris that an opportunity would be given to the government of Sri Lanka to comment on both the oral statement and the comprehensive report.

Asked whether the government would be given an opportunity by the OHCHR, Colville said: "Yes, they can."

Prof. G. L. Peiris is on record as having said that the government will not cooperate with the OHCHR as the latter does not have a mandate to investigate accountability issues here.

Authoritative sources told The Island that a final decision on whether to provide comments or not would be taken in consultations among Temple Trees, Defence Ministry as well as External Affairs Ministry.

Sources acknowledged that whatever the final decision could be, the opinion was most likely to be divided.

A senior External Affairs Ministry official said many had conveniently forgotten that the UNHRC endorsed resolution 25/1 on the basis of information provided by people whose identity would remain classified until 2031. Emphasising that the resolution was passed on the basis of unsubstantiated accusations, the official said that the refusal on the part of those spearheading the investigation to release a war-time UN report that dealt with the ground situation from August 2008 to May 13, 2009 was a matter of serious concern.

The OHCHR declined to respond to a query by The Island whether the UN report would be considered by the investigation team headed by Ms Sandra Beidas. The OHCHR also refused to name those assigned for the investigation team.

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