Newly appointed U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jordan's Prince Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein is pictured at the Human Rights Council at the United Nations Europeans headquarters in Geneva on Monday.

The new chief of United Nation’s human rights body on Monday asked Sri Lanka to cooperate with the international probe into alleged human rights abuses during final stages of armed conflict against LTTE and hailed his predecessor Navi Pillay, with whom Colombo had an uneasy relationship.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in his first speech to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, said, that he attaches great importance to the investigation on Sri Lanka mandated by the Council.

“I encourage the Sri Lankan authorities to cooperate with this process in the interests of justice and reconciliation. I am alarmed at threats currently being levelled against the human rights community in Sri Lanka, as well as prospective victims and witnesses. I also deplore recent incitement and violence against the country’s Muslim and Christian minorities,” the Jordanian prince said.

Mr. Zeid’s statement came as Sri Lanka last week expressed hope that he would pursue a different approach to Ms. Pillay who they alleged was biased against the country by favouring the Tamil minority.

Mr. Zeid, who is the first U.N. human rights chief from the Muslim and Arab worlds, began his four-year post on September 1, succeeding Ms. Pillai, a Tamil of South African origin, who was often viewed as hostile to the island nation by the authorities in Colombo.

Praising his predecessor, the new chief of U.N.’s human rights body, said, “Navi Pillay was one of the greatest senior officials the U.N. has ever had, and one of the most able, formidable High Commissioners for Human Rights.

ALSO READ  Lukashenko invites Russia to hold new joint military drills after Slavic Fraternity

“That she could annoy many Governments — and she did — was clear; but she believed deeply and movingly in the centrality of victims, and of those who are discriminated against….I pledge to continue along the same path: to be as firm, yet always fair; critical of states when necessary, and full of praise when they deserve it,” he said.

Sri Lanka faces an international probe over allegations that government forces killed about 40,000 Tamil civilians in the final months of fighting, a charge refuted by Colombo.

Share this article:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.