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GOSL Responds to News Release by the UN OHCHR

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GOSL responds to News Release by the UN OHCHR Fol lowing the News Release on Friday (7 November 2014) by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights condemning disinformation designed to discredit the UN investigation on Sri Lanka, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva has sent the attached communication to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in this regard with a copy to Baudelaire Ndong Ella, President of the Human Rights Council. Prince Zeid Ra’ad A
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  GOSL responds to News Release by the UN OHCHR  Following the News Release on Friday (7 November ! #$ by the UN O%%i&e o% the High Commissioner %or H'man Rights &ondemning disin%ormation designed to dis&redit theUN investigation on Sri Lana) the *ermanent Representative o% Sri Lana to the UN in Geneva has sent the atta&hed &omm'ni&ation to the UN High Commissioner %or H'man Rights in this regard with a &opy to +a'delaire Ndong ,lla) *resident o% the H'man Rights Co'n&il-.*rin&e /eid Ra0ad 1l H'sseinHigh Commissioner %or H'man RightsO%%i&e o% the High Commissioner %or H'man RightsGeneva2ear High Commissioner)3 write with re%eren&e to the News Release by yo'r o%%i&e dated 7 November ! # titled 4/eid &ondemns persistent disin%ormation designed to dis&redit UN 3nvestigation on Sri Lana0-3t is e5tremely regrettable that a News Release sho'ld have been iss'ed on this matter attrib'ted personally to yo' 6'estioning the integrity o% the Government o% a sovereignnation whi&h has been a member o% the United Nations sin&e 88- 1s yo' wo'ld be aware) Sri Lana has &ontrib'ted &onsistently to the United Nations system in n'mero's &apa&ities by taing a lead in norm setting pro&esses in&l'ding the Law o% the Sea Con%eren&e) disarmament and h'man rights-3t is 'n%ort'nate that yo'r News Release has been iss'ed witho't maing any attempt to 'nderstand the &onte5t or &ontent apparent %rom the 9edia Release o% the 9inistry o% ,5ternal 1%%airs dated 8th November ! #-3n %a&t) the OHCHR has been inept in &omprehending %or reasons best nown to it that  the thr'st o% the &on&erns e5pressed by the Government o% Sri Lana related to the %lawed pro&ed're o% the OHCHR 3nvestigation on Sri Lana (O3SL$-:he Government o% Sri Lana) its departments and agen&ies made no attempt  whatsoever to prevent bona %ide witnesses %rom s'bmitting in%ormation to the investigation team- Neither was any attempt made to deter and intimidate individ'als %rom s'bmitting eviden&e- :he s'bmissions that the 3nvestigation wo'ld have re&eived by now wo'ld stand to prove this %a&t-:he Government o% Sri Lana in%ormed a sele&ted gro'p o% 1mbassadors and Representatives based in Colombo) abo't the revelations made by an individ'al who  was apprehended on the gro'nds o% being a non;rehabilitated L::, &adre- :hese revelations in&l'ded him being employed to &olle&t signat'res o% persons a%%e&ted by the &on%li&t on blan %orms by de&eiving them into believing that they wo'ld be granted monetary &ompensation by the UN- :he %orms were to then be 'sed to s'bmit %alse and %abri&ated in%ormation to the O3SL- :his in%ormation was shared by the Government in order to &a'tion the interlo&'tors on attempts being made at manip'lating the investigation pro&ess-Conne&ted to this iss'e was the Government0s &on&ern regarding the response o% the OHCHR Spoesperson to a Sri Lanan newspaper that altho'gh o%%i&ially the deadline %or s'bmissions was O&tober <!th and will not be e5tended) s'bmissions arriving late  wo'ld not be ne&essarily re%'sed as some material may tae time to arrive- :his is in &ontravention o% the srcinal deadline established in the O3SL anno'n&ement- :his statement by the Spoesperson implies that only some material arriving late wo'ld be admitted) the basis %or whi&h is 'nnown- However) it is astonishing that yo'r News Release at this ='n&t're sees to &on%irm the said deadline %or s'bmissions and the &los're o% the e;mail address- S'&h &on%li&ting positions only serve to &all into 6'estionthe integrity o% the O3SL pro&ess- 1s the OHCHR is well aware) when the Lessons Learnt and Re&on&iliation Commission (LLRC$ was in session) the ven'es and dates o% hearings were made nown to the p'bli&- :his was to ens're that no individ'al or organi>ation) lo&al or %oreign) wo'ld be e5&l'ded %rom a&&essing the Commission- :he Commission to 3nvestigate Complaints Regarding 9issing *ersons in the Northern and ,astern *rovin&es whose mandate was e5panded in ?'ly ! # operates on the same basis- 3t is in this &onte5t that the Government o% Sri Lana e5pe&ted the O3SL whi&h &laims to be the embodiment o% best pra&ti&es with regard to &ond'&ting investigations to at least maintain the same level o% transparen&y to %a&ilitate a&&ess to the p'bli&- @ith regard to yo'r position on trained investigators) it is only reasonable %or the OHCHR to have e5plained this %a&t in a pro%essional manner while ass'ring the Government that the 3nvestigation will e5er&ise vigilan&e regarding attempts by partiesto manip'late the system- 3nstead) yo' have &hallenged the right o% a sovereign State toraise &on&erns regarding pro&ed'ral aspe&ts o% an 3nvestigation whi&h impa&ts its people and their %'t're in the &onte5t o% the ongoing sensitive re&on&iliation pro&ess-  :he Government0s &ategori&al re=e&tion o% the investigation established by the H'man Rights Co'n&il is not tantamo'nt to &on&ealing in%ormation- :he Government o% Sri Lana has stead%astly maintained that it owes to the &o'ntry0s dignity not to s'b=e&t its people to an investigation that does not &on%orm to even the minim'm re6'isites o%  ='sti&e and %airplay- :his position has been overwhelmingly endorsed by the national *arliament- 3t is a prin&ipled position whi&h the Government &hose to tae that was s'pported by many &o'ntries in the Co'n&il-:he OHCHR wo'ld re&all that the Government o% Sri Lana was not alone in raising &on&erns regarding the 3nvestigation mandated by Resol'tion 8A - @hile the Resol'tion itsel% saw a divided Co'n&il in 9ar&h ! #) several &o'ntries voi&ed grave &on&ern regarding the 3nvestigation not only then b't in September ! # as well-3t is a matter o% deep &on&ern to note that yo') as a high o%%i&ial o% the UN system) haveresorted to the 'se o% intemperate lang'age to atta& and vili%y a sovereign member o% the United Nations- F'rther) yo' have &hosen to &ast aspersions and denigrate a demo&rati&ally ele&ted Government- 3n %a&t) some &o'ntries have) on e5tremely &ogent gro'nds) re=e&ted mandates o% the Co'n&il previo'sly in m'&h stronger ways) and havenot been &ens'red in the manner as in this instan&e- :his 'ndo'btedly &on%irms the do'ble standards being applied- :his type o% a&tion on yo'r part wo'ld regrettably &onstrain &onstr'&tive engagement whi&h the Government o% Sri Lana has &onsistently so'ght to p'rs'e-Sin&e yo' have released yo'r &omments to the p'bli& domain) 3 am &ompelled to mae the te5t o% this letter available to the membership o% the Co'n&il and the people o% Sri Lana who deserve to be aware o% the %a&ts pertaining to this matter-  Bo'rs sin&erely)Ravinatha 1ryasinha 1mbassador*ermanent Representative*osted by :havam
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