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At UN, Pillay Says Deferring Sri Lanka Visit Until LLRC Report, Won't Count Deaths

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 9 -- When High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pillay appeared at the UN on Friday, Inner City Press asked her about inaction on the killing of civilians in Sri Lanka, including the performance of the UN and certain high UN officials. Inner City Press also asked how many civilians she believed had been killed in Sri Lanka, and if she was seeking a second terms of HCHR.

Pillay spoke generally that there should be accountability, adding that she is postponing a visit to Sri Lanka until the release of the report of the government's Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission, which she said in the hands of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

She said she favored the LLRC report, along with the UN Panel of Experts (or "Darusman") Report being the subject of a debate in the Human Rights Council. Sources in Geneva tell Inner City Press that the push for that is not prominent, and such a debate prior to Sri Lanka's so-called Universal Periodic Review is unlikely. Will Ms. Pillay and others push harder?

(c) UN Photo
Pillay, d'Escoto and HRW, 2d term and HRC action on Sri Lanka not shown

Pillay declined to provide any estimate of the number of dead, just minutes after saying that over 4,000 have been killed in Syria, to which her access is decidedly limited.

She also declined to answer if she will seek a second term, saying she has six months left, but "thank you for reminding me" that the decision time is looming. For Sri Lanka as well? Watch this site.

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Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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