UNITED NATION’S HUMAN RIGHTS HEAD WELCOMED INVESTIGATIONS DONE BY SRI LANKA INTO THE CHANNEL 4 TAPES ALLEGING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Posted on September 15th, 2009

By Walter Jayawardhana

Navaneetham Pillai, head of the United NationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Human Rights Commission told Sri Lankan Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday (Sept 15 )that she welcomed the investigations done by the Sri Lankan government regarding UKƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Channel 4 tapes alleging human rights violations against the country.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe met Pillai to brief her regarding the controversial tapes.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Minister Samarasinghe told the UN official that two investigations, one in Australia, and another at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka were conducted by experts and both have concluded the video clips were fakes depicting malicious deceptions.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Samarasinghe said the broadcasters have not abide by the fundamental journalistic principle of verifying what they broadcast and they should abide by a code of conduct that all materials before publication should be thoroughly verified for its authenticity.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The tapes which Channel 4 broadcast alleging extrajudicial killings by the Sri Lanka Army, damaged the image of Sri Lanka and even after it had been proved beyond any reasonable doubt that they were hoaxes the correction would not erase off the damage 100 percent, he told Navaneetham Pillai.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Samarasinghe also met the team of Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on extra judicial ,summary or arbitrary executions as he is in new York. Going by the allegedly doctored tapes Alston had been very critical of Sri Lanka. Samarasinghe told the Alston team that he should be conveyed that the two independent investigations done by the Sri Lankan government should be welcomed by him. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said since Alston rushed to make a statement he should have the same amount of urgency to welcome the investigations. He said he would request him to welcome them since it is nothing but the right thing to do.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Minister Samarasinghe also briefed them on the IDPƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s and the regularization of LTTE ex-combatants.

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