04/01/2014, 00.00
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Sri Lanka "rejects" UN war crimes resolution

by Melani Manel Perera
Sri Lankan authorities will not help the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) conduct its enquiries. High Commissioner said that her office would do it anyway. Sri Lanka human rights activists welcome the resolution.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - Sri Lanka rejected a new resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and will not offer any form of assistance and support to its enquiries, said Mahinda Samarasinhe, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's special envoy to Geneva.

If Sri Lankan authorities refuse to cooperate with the UN office, the latter would conduct its investigation from outside of the country, said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Adopted on 27 March, the US-sponsored resolution is the third time Sri Lanka is asked to shed light on crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the country's civil war and on human rights abuses that purportedly continue to this day.

Passed by a majority of 23 to 12, with 12 abstentions, the resolution was welcomed by activists inside and outside the island nation.

"The resolution is a victory for human rights defenders and for victims who suffered the indignity of denial by the Mahinda Rajapakse regime," Christian human rights activist Nimalka Fernando (pictured) told AsiaNews.

"It is also important to note that among Asian nations only Pakistan, China and Vietnam voted for Sri Lanka. These are states that violate the rights of their own minorities."

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