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     Home > Charity and Solidarity  >  2013-08-28 17:05:16
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UN's chief rights commissioner visits Sri Lanka Tamils first time since civil war ended

28 Aug. 2013 : The United Nation’s human rights commissioner visited conflict areas of northern Sri Lanka on Tuesday for the first time, since the country’s bloody civil war ended four years ago. More than 800 ethnic minority Tamils demonstrated with photographs of disappeared family members in Jaffna, as High Commissioner Navi Pillay visited the majority Tamil city, the scene of heavy fighting during the country’s 30-year civil war. The UN’s most senior rights official met with 15 Tamils who presented their disappearance cases for 15 minutes each at the UN office in Jaffna. The UN has estimated that 40,000 civilians died in the bloody final stages of the Sri Lankan conflict. in which, the military squeezed the rebel Tamil Tigers into an ever smaller corner of the north of the country, trapping fleeing civilians in areas of heavy fighting.
The UN Human Rights Council is due to discuss Sri Lanka at its next sitting in October, having passed two resolutions calling for greater accountability for the atrocities of the war. A comprehensive report is expected to be tabled at a subsequent session of the council in March. “We hope that substantive progress on human rights protection will be made,” said Dr Paikiasothy Sarawanamuthu, executive director of the Colombo-based Center for Policy Alternatives, who met Pillay on Monday.
The high commissioner’s week-long trip has sparked controversy both inside and outside the country. Pillay has said that she is in Sri Lanka to raise human rights issues and not to criticize, although her visit has already faced opposition.


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