Navi Pillay signals balanced preliminary assessment as Rajapaksa continues LLRC-farce

[TamilNet, Friday, 23 August 2013, 16:41 GMT]
The AFP, Press Trust of India (PTI) and The New Indian Express have given significance to a story originating from Colombo that SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday ‘bifurcated’ the SL Defense Ministry, which has been in-charge of the police as well as the three armed forces, by bringing the Police under a new ministry. In reality, the announcement is just a farce as both Defence Ministry and the newly created ‘Law and Order’ ministry remain under the same powerful minister who is none other than the SL President himself. Former Chief of Staff of the genocidal SL military, Major General (retd) Nanda Mallawarachchi is to be the Secretary of the new ‘police’ ministry. Both the PTI and the New Indian Express reports have also noted that the LLRC had recommended the SL government to exclude the police from the Defence Ministry's control.

In the meantime, Ms Navi Pillay in an e-mail interview to Thomson Reuters Foundation on Friday, said that she has an “open mind” and will not be “pre-judging anything” ahead of her visit to the island.

"I want to see for myself the reconstruction and rehabilitation effort, but also what progress is being made towards accountability and reconciliation," U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Pillay was telling the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"I am not pre-judging anything. There are clearly plenty of issues to discuss, including some worrying ones, and some more positive developments. I am going with an open mind and I plan to give a balanced preliminary assessment of my own impressions at the end of my visit," she added.

Informed diplomatic sources in Colombo said key foreign missions of the West were busy in behind-the-scene negotiations with the representatives of the Sri Lankan State and that Ms Navi Pillay's interview was an expected gesture extended to the Sri Lankan State in order to create a ‘conducive environment’ for her visit to the island.

Ms Navi Pillay is scheduled to provide a ‘spoken update’ to Human Rights Council Session in September and a full fledged ‘formal report’ in March 2014, while the US-tabled, India-fine tuned, UNHRC resolution upholding the LLRC has been rejected outright by Tamils and has been severely criticized by the global human rights groups.

External Links:
Thomson Reuters Foundation: UN rights chief stays open-minded ahead of Sri Lanka trip
Business Standard: Sri Lanka creates new ministry control its police force
The New Indian Express: Rajapaksa takes away Law and Order from Defense Ministry
Fox News: Sri Lanka removes police from defence control


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