UN to ‘keep a close eye’ on domestic mechanism

UN to ‘keep a close eye’ on domestic mechanism

February 18, 2015   02:51 pm

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-moon, said the UN will be carefully assessing developments with respect to the domestic accountability mechanism in Sri Lanka.

Responding to a query, Farhan Haq added that the Secretary-General also encourages the SL Government to engage continuously with the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Question:  On the deferral of the Sri Lankan report, what are the details of the Government agreement?  Is it going to be new access?  Will the OISL [Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Investigation in Sri Lanka] be able to interview senior officials in the army?  Are they going to be able to examine mass graves?  And secondly, if these new levels of access yield information implicating Shavendra Silva, will the Secretary General encourage the Credentials Committee to recommend the General Assembly to reviews General Silva’s credentials?

Deputy Spokesman:  First of all, in terms of the next steps, the Secretary General is aware that the new administration is planning to set up a domestic accountability mechanism and will be carefully assessing developments.  The Secretary General, as you’re aware, met with the Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka last Friday, 13 February, and stressed the importance of Sri Lanka to show firm and clear commitment to accountability, reconciliation and human rights.  He also encouraged the Government to engage continuously with the High Commissioner for Human Rights.  

Advancing accountability, like other parts of the post-war agenda in Sri Lanka, will lay the basis for the country to make further progress on peace, democracy and development.  The UN remains committed to support Sri Lanka’s efforts to address the postwar agenda.  

The Secretary General is also aware of reactions from various communities to the decision by the Human Rights Council, and the Secretary General will positively engage with the new Government and support its efforts.   Regarding your question on Mr. Silva, at this stage, that remains hypothetical.  We’ll have so see what the results of the next steps.

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