Sri Lanka against UN sending probe report to rights body

GENEVA, September 12, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lanka on Monday took issue with a planned UN move to forward a damning report on the country to the Human Rights Council, complaining that Colombo was not notified about the action. Sri Lanka Minister of Plantation Industries Mahinda Samarasinghe claimed that at a briefing on September 9 UN human rights chief Navi Pillay “had informed a group of countries that a decision had been taken by the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General to transmit the report” to both her offices and the Human Rights Council.

“The failure on the part of the High Commissioner to inform the concerned state — Sri Lanka — was wholly inappropriate to say the least,” the minister told the Human Rights Council.

Asked about Samarasinghe’s claim, Pillay’s spokesman told AFP that “the issue had come up” during the briefing.

The report by a panel of UN experts released in April detailed violations allegedly committed by both the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, “some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity”.

The report had called for an international probe into the violations, and asked that the Human Rights Council be invited to reconsider the conclusions