Navi Pillay reiterates OHCHR mandate to establish international investigation

Navi  pillay  At a meeting on 17 March 2014, between the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and Non -Governmental  Organisations, on the sidelines of the 25th session of the Human Rights Council, saw renewed calls for an international investigation. High Commissioner of the United Nation Human Rights Council. Navaneethan Pillay made a strong response on the arrest of human rights activists and the  present situation of human rights in Sri Lanka. 

The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said to the NGOs that the OHCHR “has the power to establish an international mechanism” to investigate crimes, as it falls under the human rights protection mandate of her office, in response to a question by the Tamil Centre for Human Rights.

Pillay said that the OHCHR would not make calls for an international investigation “idly”, and that those calls would only come after the office knows from evidence that they cannot expect a credible domestic mechanism. Commenting on this issue UNHRC commissioner went on to say, “I’m well aware on this story and paid special attention on this issue.”

Responding on international inquiries against Sri Lanka the High Commissioner added, “Under the international human rights affairs of human rights council UNHRC commissioner owns power to conduct international inquiries against Sri Lanka.”

The High Commissioner made this statement while responding to the question that rose on Sri Lanka, chairing the discussions organised by the civil organisations.

NPC Councillor Ananthi Sasitharan addressed the OHCHR, thanking the office for their work on Sri Lanka and the Tamil people.Ms Sasitharan spoke about the arrests of human rights activists adding that she hoped for a strong resolution, which will create an international Commission of Inquiry into war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Responding to Ms Sasitharan’s questions, Hani Megally of the OHCHR said that the High Commissioner’s report had called for an international investigation, as they saw little movement when they tried to work with Sri Lanka to address human rights issues.

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