UN rights chief called on the country’s youth to set aside differences

youth parliment   Addressing the third session of the Sri Lanka Youth Parliament, UN rights chief called on the country’s youth to set aside differences and play a transformative role in society while urging the government to take up the pressing issues of youth suicide , unemployment and education.

In her address she said she was ‘disturbed’ by the misuse of religion. Saying, “I am concerned when I see young people here and in the diaspora frozen in the hatred that fuelled the war. I am disturbed when religion is misused to vocalize young people of one community against another. But I am greatly encouraged when I hear about young people coming together across communities to defend independent university, to fight discrimination against women or people with different sexual identity and orientation to say , to say no to ethnic and religious violence.”

Pillay said in a passionate speech that saw her reminding all about the bitter past that Sri Lankan Youth have tasted over the last few decades. She said that the Youth Parliament was not a “demonstrated value”, but rather a “political right” of the youth. “I was sad to learn that Sri Lanka has such a high rate of youth suicide, and I really urge the Government to find ways to address this problem and translate such despair into hope,” Ms Pillay said.

The  United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanetham (Navi) Pillaymet President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday. The President has told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that some incidents raised by her are “isolated incidents” and that the majority of Sri Lankans continue to coexist peacefully in all parts of the island.

President Rajapaksa also told Pillay that there is a belief among many Sri Lankans that the United Nations is biased in the way it deals with countries, and he said he urged those who voiced these concerns to him not to prejudge the report Pillay is due to issue on Sri Lanka next month.

Ms. Pillay,  had also met the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and a group of UNP members. The UNP members handed over a bill to her regarding the enactment of the 17th Constitutional amendment to make all the state institutions independent.discuss the steps that should be taken in order to re-instate democracy in Sri Lanka.

At the meeting with the The Tamil National Alliance yesterday the TNA, told the visiting United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay that the post-war agreement, between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and UNSG Ban Ki-moon, should be implemented in full.

Ms Pillay had expressed displeasure to a statement made by Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva that he was willing to marry her. The Leader of the House Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva,is said to have expressed regret to MsPillay  on behalf of the government, at a reception at the Colombo Hilton on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile Tight security has been placed outside the UN office in Colombo ahead of a scheduled press conference by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. Ms Pillay is to address the media at the UN compound this morning but some Buddhist organizations have threatened to block her convoy near the UN office and handover a petition.

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