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HRC seeks clarity over Sri Lanka vote

June 7, 2009

The Times in South Africa – HRC seeks clarity over Sri Lanka vote

The Human Rights Commission has asked the government to explain why its UN representative voted against a call for an international investigation into suspected atrocities in Sri Lanka.

This week commission chairman Jody Kollapen wrote to the minister of international relations and cooperation, Maite Nkoane-Mashabane, asking why the position taken by the SA representative on the UN Human Rights Council differed from the government position.

South Africa recently supported a call by Judge Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, for an investigation into the atrocities.

In his letter Kollapen says: “ The SA government issued a statement that the Human Rights Council ‘urgently investigates possible violations of international human rights law and contraventions of the Geneva Convention’.

“This was not supported by the SA representative when the matter came before council last week.”

…“What was concerning was South Africa supported the resolution that would not see any investigation. It was in contradiction to the statement issued by the South African government.

“On one hand the government is saying there should be an investigation, but on the international forum it’s not consistent in taking the same stance. We are asking the government for an explanation for the contradictory stances,” said Kollapen.

Read full article here

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