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Lanka to brief UN Human Rights Council on war probe

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will leave for Geneva next month to attend a high-level meeting of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) during which he will also have talks with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Over 65 foreign ministers from around the world will participate in the “High-Level Segment” which is expected to be held March 2, Xinhua news agency reported citign the statement.

Sri Lanka recently won a six-month extension on the submission of a report on alleged war crimes to the UN Human Rights Council , after UN Human Rights chief Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein praised the government’s willingness to open the country up to scrutiny.

In a letter to the president of the UN Human Rights Council , which set up the investigation in March last year, Zeid recommended delaying publication next month until the council’s 30th session due in September.

In his request to the council, Zeid appended a letter from Samaraweera, which set out reforms that the new government planned to implement within 100 days, including ensuring justice for war crimes.

After receiving the extension, the Sri Lankan government said it was ready to accept the challenge of addressing the country’s human rights concerns by September and assured a credible domestic probe would be launched into the war allegations.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera said earlier Friday that the council’s decision to grant an extension was the biggest diplomatic victory achieved by the new government and assured that Sri Lanka would do everything possible to conduct a thorough probe into the final stages of the war.
Agencies

Agencies

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