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    Top South Asian Countries refuse Visas to UN Team probing Sri LANKA Featured

    July 22, 2014

    India and four other South Asian countries have united in expressing objection to the UN probe mandated by a resolution adopted at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva in March 2014 by refusing to grant isas to the United Nations team appointed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to probe the alleged human rights violations during the last seven years of three-decade-long conflict in Sri Lanka.

     

    Prathiba Mahanamahewa, commissioner of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission, hsaid that India had rejected to provide visa to the investigations committee to enter that country to conduct the probe.

     

    Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Maldives have expressed their objection to the international investigation into Sri Lanka.

     

    The investigation team appointed by Pillay to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lanka’s security forces and the Tamil terrorists comprises 13 members and three experts.

     

    While conducting investigations from Western countries, the team has sought to conduct the investigations in a country close to Sri Lanka since Sri Lanka has refused to co-operate with the investigation.

     

    “India is an important country in this regard, but India has rejected entry. Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives are in a similar stance, they are not willing to provide support for a suggestion brought on an individual country. They will want to conduct investigations in a country that is close to Sri Lanka, since they cannot enter Sri Lanka,” Mahanamahewa said.

     

    The human rights official has noted that even Afghanistan has shown their objection towards the probe. “Saarc countries have united for the first time in this manner,” Mahanamahewa added.

     

    “The UNHRC Committee will have to conduct the investigation from outside South Asia. They will have to contact witnesses in Sri Lanka through Skype and teleconferencing,” he said.

     

    He said refusal of visas is a very significant gesture from the part of the Indian leadership.

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