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UN human rights chief to visit Sri Lanka


14:02, May 28, 2013

COLOMBO, May 28 (Xinhua) -- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has decided to visit Sri Lanka in August this year at the invitation of the Sri Lankan government, said officials.

Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha P. Aryasinha said that Sri Lanka considers this visit as part of its continued, transparent and proactive engagement with the High Commissioner and her office.

"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, in the relatively brief period of four years since the end of the ruthless terrorist conflict that decimated our nation and its peoples for 30 long years," he said.

He also said that Sri Lanka hopes that through the visit, a platform will be built for constructive engagement between the Sri Lankan government and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Sri Lankan government has been accused of committing grave human rights abuses during the final stages of the war against the Tamil Tiger rebels before the rebels were defeated in May 2009.

The government denied the charges but still faced calls for an international independent investigation into the allegations with Navi Pillay among those who backed those calls.

The UN Human Rights Council in March this year also passed a resolution against Sri Lanka on the human rights issue.

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