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UN Human Rights official says she didn't come to criticize Sri Lanka

Written By Freedam to the nation resettlement of IDPs on Monday, August 26, 2013 | 12:16 AM




Mon, Aug 26, 2013, 12:16 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Aug 26, Colombo: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says she is not visiting Sri Lanka to criticize the country but to look into violations of humanitarian laws if there are any happening in the country.
Responding to BBC's Colombo correspondent at a media brief held Sunday at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo, Pillay, who arrived in the island on Sunday said, she is in the country to see whether the Sri Lankan government is complying with the human rights standards set by the whole world including Sri Lanka.
"I frame myself within the human rights standards set for the whole world by all the governments of the world, including the Government of Sri Lanka. So I'm not writing my statute," the HR High Commissioner said.
"I'm looking at the framework that was also developed by Sri Lanka. So, if I raise criticism it's whether they are complying with those standards," she explained.
Speaking further, the HR official said although the Sri Lankan government has invited her two years ago in 2011, she preferred to wait until the government released the report of its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
"Now I am here to assess the human rights situation and I am speaking to both the government and the Tamil society. I am also planning to go around the country as much as I can," she said.
Ms. Pillay is scheduled to make field visits to Sri Lanka's North and East during her stay in the island.
Following her week-long visit, the UN official will prepare a report on the human rights situation in the country and will present the report at the UN Human Rights Council Session in Geneva next month.
"When I go back I will be reporting on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka to the Human Rights Council," Pillay added.
Meanwhile, Some Sinhala nationalists groups are planning to demonstrate outside the UN office in Colombo tomorrow against Pillay's visit to Sri Lanka, local media reported.
. At the end of her visit, on Saturday 31 August, the High Commissioner is due to hold a news conference in Colombo.
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