Responding to a question from Inner City Press, Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the for the Secretary-General told journalists on 21 March 2016 that it wants “to make sure there is a credible investigation” into Sri Lanka’s violations of international humanitarian law in response to the Sri Lankan president rejecting foreign judges participating in an accountability mechanism.
Question: I wanted to ask you on Sri Lanka, the President is quoted on Friday, this is a direct quote at a legal conference in Sri Lanka, that even if there proves to be a need for a judicial process after investigating human rights, I will not agree to invite foreign judges to come to Sri Lanka to be part of it, end quote, and given what the Secretary‑General has said about transitional justice and the need for the international component, now that President has outright said he will not, what is the Secretary‑General’s response as the Human Rights Council meetings on Sri Lanka are set to begin?
Deputy Spokesman: Well, the Human Rights Council can evaluate for themselves how it’s going, but we want to make sure there is a credible investigation into this. And we have made clear what our guidelines are for what a credible investigation will entail and so we will continue to be in dialog to make sure it happens.
Question: Sure. I wanted to ask, and do this very fast, there is a newspaper in Sri Lanka called the Sunday Times that has written an article over I guess on Sunday about various letters from Tamil groups that were addressed to Cristina Gallach of DPI and cc’d to Ban Ki‑moon, as well as to Mr. Dujarric, asking why for covering an event in this room… will there be a response?
Deputy Spokesman: Nothing new on your case.
Question: Here is a related question.
Deputy Spokesman: Which is about you.
Question: No, about this room and your office. Today I noticed as I covered the Security Council when they finally opened the door that in this room there were a number of people came in, the door was closed, one of your colleagues came in and so I would like to know was this an open briefing or a closed meeting, what was it?
Deputy Spokesman: It was a briefing to high school students.
Question: So it closed? Would a journalist be thrown out of the UN for seeking to cover it? I just want to know since that happened to me on January 29th. Was it open or not? What would be the ramifications for coming into the room, I’m asking you? (UN)