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Sri Lanka considers inviting UN rights chief

Sri Lanka is considering inviting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to visit Sri Lanka, sources said.

Daily Mirror learns the matter had been discussed at the highest level days after Bachelet released a damning report on Sri Lanka’s human rights record.

Sources said that the Government was considering extending an invitation so Bachelet can get a first-hand assessment of the developments in the country.

When contacted by Daily Mirror, Foreign Secretary, Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage confirmed that the matter is being considered but asserted that nothing has been finalised.

If a formal invitation is sent and she accepts, she would be the third UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Sri Lanka in recent times.

In 2013, then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visited Sri Lanka when Mahinda Rajapaksa was President.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein visited Sri Lanka as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in February 2016 under Maithripala Sirisena’s presidency.

Government sources said that a formal invitation is likely to be forwarded to Michelle Bachelet at the end of the ongoing UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva.

The Council is to vote on a resolution on Sri Lanka which is based on a critical report presented by Bachelet.

The Sri Lankan Government has already rejected the report and has assured steps will be taken through a domestic process to ensure accountability and reconciliation.

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