“[Sri Lanka] must create institutions that work, and ensure accountability” – High Commissioner Zeid

Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, at the end of his mission to Sri Lanka

Colombo, Sri Lanka – (February 9, 2016): ….On Sunday, I visited the Northern and Eastern Provinces, where I met the Chief Ministers and members of the Provincial Councils as well as the Governors, and yesterday morning I was honoured to visit the revered Sri Dalada Maligawa, or Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy, where I was graciously received by the Mahanayakas (Chief Monks) of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters. I am very grateful to them for according me this great privilege, as well as to the members of the Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities I met in Colombo, Jaffna and Trincomalee.

This has been a much more friendly, cooperative and encouraging visit than the one my predecessor endured in August 2013, which as you may recall was marred by vituperative attacks on her integrity, simply because she addressed a number of burning human rights issues that any High Commissioner for Human Rights would have raised at that time.

I am aware that some of the same people have given me a similar welcome — I’ve seen the posters — but I am pleased that in the new environment in Sri Lanka, all voices, including the moderate voices of civil society, can at last be heard, even if sometimes the voices of hatred and bigotry are still shouting the loudest….>>>>..

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 Working with many organizations at UNHRC, and helped pass resolution calling for justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation and assuring Sri Lanka stays on international agenda.

 54 co-sponsors on US House Resolution 177 – calling for an independent international investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity & a new US policy.

Senate Resolution 84 – passed unanimously calling for international investigation.

5 or more One Minute Speeches on Tamil issues in Congress 2010, 2011, 2012.