» 06/11/2012, 00.00
UN commissioner wants to meet Sri Lankan civil war witnesses
Melani Manel Perera
The visit by United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has not been confirmed. Colombo opposes it, wants local NGOs as mediators. US secretary of state wants the Sri Lankan government to support Pillay.
(AsiaNews) - The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay plans
to hold discussions with civilians who testified before the Lessons Learnt and
Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) set up by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to
investigate the last phase of the civil war, highly placed External Affairs
Ministry sources said.
the government, many are opposed to the visit, viewing it as lack of confidence
in the LLRC's work. However, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights (OHCHR) has not yet made any official request. If it does, Sri
Lankan authorities will bring in local NGOs as mediators.
the end of 2011, the LRCC issued a report.
In it, some Tamil Tiger (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) officials are said
to have gone missing after their surrender. Pillay wants to talk to witnesses
who talked about the missing in order to know more about it.
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton requested Colombo to provide assistance to
the visit by Pillay, during the discussion held with Clinton at the recent
special visit to the United States by Sri Lanka's External affairs Minister
Prof. G.L. Peiris.
United States was one of the actors in a UN resolution on alleged war crimes
committed by Sri Lankan troops in the final phase of the civil war.
22 March, the resolution called on Sri Lanka's government to improve on the LLRC
recommendations and take all possible steps to ensure justice, equality and
reconciliation among Sri Lankans.
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