06/26/2014, 00.00
SRI LANKA - UN
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Sri Lanka, about to start UN investigation on human rights violations

by Melani Manel Perera
Announcing the three experts that will support the special team, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the investigation will still continue even if the government refuses to cooperate. A human rights activist to AsiaNews: "This is not a resolution against the country, but against impunity, abuse of power by the rulers and collapse of the rule of law.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillai Wednesday, 25 June announced the names of three distinguished experts who agreed to advise and support the team set up to conduct a comprehensive investigation of alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, as mandated by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March.

Announcing the experts to the panel, the High Commissioner asked the Sri Lankan government to cooperate with the investigation which will still continue even if the government refuses to cooperate. 

The Investigation Team will consist of 12 staff, including investigators, forensics experts, a gender specialist, a legal analyst. It will be operational for a period of 10 months (up to mid-April 2015).

The Sri Lankan parliament on June 18 passed a motion against the UN investigation and accordingly the parliament has decided to deny permission for the UN investigation team to enter the country. 

However, in the country many human rights activists support UN intervention. Nimalka Fernando, Christian and President of The International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), told to AsiaNews: "This is not a resolution against the country as the rulers claim. This is a resolution undoubtedly against impunity, abuse of power by the rulers and collapse of the rule of law. It's a situation deliberately created by the excessive and arbitrary use of Presidential powers."

"It is disgusting to note the manner in which the President of Sri Lanka who himself is a lawyer has been abusing power and further deliberately distorting the role that UN and Human Rights Council has to play in relation to promote and protect human rights of all Sri Lankans," she added.

"We would like to encourage all victims to participate enthusiastically supporting the international mechanism."

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