The United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein arrived here yesterday for a four-day official visit.
The main purpose will be to review the implementation of the recommendations made in his report to the United Nations Human Rights Council and the subsequent Resolution on “promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.”
The High Commissioner’s visit comes four months before he presents an oral update to the UNHRC at its 32nd session in June after assessing the progress on the resolution adopted on October 1 last year.
Prince Zeid met Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera shortly after his arrival and later held discussions with heads of UN agencies in Sri Lanka. He spoke briefly with journalists and said he was delighted to be in Colombo. “This is my first trip to Sri Lanka. I’ve been looking forward to coming. I am looking forward to meeting both the highest officials of the state and representatives of all communities. I will be listening to everything that they have to say and look forward to very constructive discussions in the days to come,” he said.
During his stay, the High Commissioner will meet President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, other ministers and high-level Government officials at both “federal” and regional levels, a media statement from the Office of the High Commissioner said.
He will also hold discussions with a wide range of other interlocutors, including officials of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, representatives of civil society, victims of human rights violations, and religious leaders. In addition to his talks in Colombo, the High Commissioner will also visit Jaffna, Trincomalee and Kandy. The UN High Commissioner is here at the invitation of the Government.