UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Her Excellency Ms. Navanethan Pillay met Hon. Governor, Eastern Province Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrama on 28th August 2013 at Governor’s Secretariat in Trincomalee.
H.E. Mr. Ravinatha Ariyasinha, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN Office at Geneva, UN High Commissioners’ delegation and the Officials of the GoSL also present at the event.
A discussion on the development of Eastern Province after the conflict was held at this meeting.
Her Excellency Navanethem Pillay, United Nations High Commission for Human Rights arrived in Sri Lanka on a 7 day official visit. She was accompanied by five senior officials of the UN Human Right Council.
During her tour to the north part of Sri Lanka, she met Governor of Northern Province GA Chandrasiri at his office in Jaffna on 27th August 2013 and had discussion regarding the current situation of the province. Governor G A Chandrasiri had a breakfast meeting with UN High Commissioner and briefed the main development and reconciliation activities which took place after the end of hostilities in 2009.
Governor gave a clear explanation to the questions raised by UN High Commissioner for human rights especially on resettlement, rehabilitation and land issues.
I was delighted last week to be told that the Human Rights Commission was receiving assistance from the Asia Pacific Centre which coordinates work with National Human Rights Commissions. When, following my appointment to convene the Task Force to promote and monitor action on the National Human Rights Action Plan, I met the HRC, I had been told that such assistance had been requested. I asked for a meeting, since I believe that the HRC is one of the core elements in the promotion of Rights in Sri Lanka, but I heard nothing, and later I was told that they had said they were too busy to meet me.
It was fortuitous that I found out they were present. During the Council of Asian Liberal and Democrats Congress that was held at Colombo, I noted the presence of the UN and on checking was told that a number of UN Human Rights personnel were staying.
The Ministry of External Affairs knew nothing about this, but I then checked with the UN Resident Coordinator who was helpful as always, and said he thought it was the Asia Pacific people who were working with the HRC. The chairman confirmed this, and kindly arranged a meeting for me at short notice.