UNHRC chief due in June


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United Nations Human Rights Commissioner (UNHRC) Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad, will visit Sri Lanka in June this year, Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera stated in Parliament.

Mr. Samaraweera pointed out this visit was in line with the UNHRC’s new focus on Sri Lanka. He also stated Sri Lankan forces were slated to play a greater role in the UN’s peace keeping activities in the future. He said it was important to have a domestic mechanism to look into human rights violations as pledged by the present regime prior to the presidential election.

He stated, “Failure to carry out a domestic investigation will lead to an international investigation which might in turn lead to foreign intervention.” “One must not treat the upholding of human rights as a western value. It should be treated as a universal value,” he stated.

Criticizing the drawbacks of the previous regime, the minister said the former regime had ended ties with Sri Lanka’s traditional partners. He stated the present administration would renew its ties with these partners in its effort to turn Sri Lanka into modern democratic state.

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