UN human rights chief invited to Sri Lanka: foreign ministry

COLOMBO, May 28, 2013 (AFP) – The UN human rights chief has been invited to Sri Lanka in August, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, months after Colombo reacted angrily to her request for a war crimes probe. The High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has been invited to the country as part of Colombo’s “continued, transparent and proactive engagement” with the United Nations, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We believe that the visit would enable the High Commissioner to experience at first hand the significant strides made and also efforts presently underway in the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka,” the ministry said.

Pillay’s office in Geneva confirmed she would visit Sri Lanka from August 25 to 31, but gave no further details.

A UN report released in February said Colombo had failed to honour a commitment to probe rights abuses and allegations that thousands of civilians were killed in the final stages of its ethnic war that ended in 2009.

The report commissioned by Pillay said investigations by Sri Lankan authorities were inconclusive, and were not independent, impartial or transparent.

Sri Lanka’s state-run media responded by vilifying Pillay and called for