09/27/2013, 00.00
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Navi Pillay: Attacks on churches and mosques in Sri Lanka alarming

by Melani Manel Perera
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights presents the report of official visit to the country, which took place in early September. Pillay urges the government to investigate alleged war crimes committed by the army during the war and denounces "threats" to the country's democracy.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - In Sri Lanka, the recent incidents of hate speech against religious minorities, such as the attacks on churches and mosques, are "particularly alarming" and must be stopped "as soon as possible." This was stated by Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHRC), presenting her report on her official visit to the Asian country, which took place earlier this month. The politician presented the report in Geneva on September 25th.

In the report Pillay reminds the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa that it has until March 2014 to shed light once and for all on the violations committed during the civil war. Beyond that date, she explains, "the international community will have the right to initiate its own independent investigation." "In this journey - she continues - the High Commissioner noted a great concern among many analysts, who wonder if Sri Lanka is undermining the democratic mechanism and the rule of law."

The country was subject to a UN resolution on war crimes committed by the armed forces during the decades of ethnic conflict. The measure imposed on the government of Sri Lanka to investigate the final stages of the war and the actual post-conflict rehabilitation of the Tamil community in the north and east, the areas most affected by the fighting.

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