28 October, 2020

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Removing Buddhist Flag And DS Statue: Neither A Retraction Nor A Correction By GOSL, We Are Going Public – UNHRC

“We consider it deeply regrettable that government officials and other commentators continue what appears to be a coordinated campaign of disinformation in an attempt to discredit the High Commissioner or to distract from the core messages of her visit” says Rupert Colville , the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Denying the claims attributed to Secretary of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa regarding the statue of Sri Lanka’s first Prime Minister from Independence Square, the spokesperson said; “The letter from OHCHR to the Sri Lankan Government requested an immediate retraction and public correction of this misinformation which has – not surprisingly – aroused much disquiet in Sri Lanka. Since neither a retraction nor a correction have been forthcoming, we are today making public what was said, and not said, about Independence Square during the visit.”

We publish below the statement in full;

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville

Location: Geneva
Date: 20 September 2013

SRI LANKA

As you may recall, in the High Commissioner’s statement at the end of her mission to Sri Lanka on 31 August, she mentioned the unfortunate fact that at least three Government Ministers had joined in an extraordinary array of distortion and abuse during her visit. Unfortunately this practice has continued.

Navi Pillay

A week ago, on 12 September, OHCHR sent a formal complaint to the Government of Sri Lanka concerning the widely reported comments attributed to the Secretary of Defence that, during her meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the High Commissioner requested the removal of the statue of Sri Lanka’s first Prime Minister from Colombo’s Independence Square.

The letter from OHCHR to the Sri Lankan Government requested an immediate retraction and public correction of this misinformation which has – not surprisingly – aroused much disquiet in Sri Lanka.

Since neither a retraction nor a correction have been forthcoming, we are today making public what was said, and not said, about Independence Square during the visit.

Firstly, we categorically deny that the High Commissioner ever uttered a single word about the statue of Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake at any point during her visit to Sri Lanka, let alone asked the President to remove it. This claim is without a shred of truth.

Secondly, there has been a further distortion concerning comments the High Commissioner made to the President concerning a flag in Independence Square. The High Commissioner discussed with the President her concerns with rising inter-communal tensions and incitement to violence on the basis of religion in Sri Lanka. In this context, she asked why the only flag flying, other than the national flag, in such a symbolic location was that of one religious community, and suggested it might be more inclusive to fly only the national flag which is a symbol that unites the nation, no matter who they are or what religion they adhere to. At no time did she request any flag to be removed.

We consider it deeply regrettable that government officials and other commentators continue what appears to be a coordinated campaign of disinformation in an attempt to discredit the High Commissioner or to distract from the core messages of her visit.

The High Commissioner will be updating the Human Rights Council on her visit and progress on accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka on 25 September.

Related posts;

Ranil Writes To Navi: Clarify Call For Removal Of DS Statue And Buddhist Flag

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    In all these comments we appear to have forgotten the looni voice of GLP
    who will have to take the blame for the Regimes madness in governance
    and diplomatic ethics. This is how this affair will end.

  • 0
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    UN Office does not deny that NAvi Pillai protested against running the Buddhist flag in the Independant Square.

    That means United Nations Human Rights Defender did not RESPECT the Wishes of the Majority in a Majority buddhist country.

    She showed her biases against the majority buddhist nation.

    • 0
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      It is not a question of being biased like you are all the time, but it is question of why the country’s flag was taken down, when it has cross representation of all communities, instead of flying only the Buddhist flag, which represents only Buddhist community as citizens of this country. This is the hight of absurdity and flying the Buddhist flag representing Buddhists only is definitely objectionable and is the wrong thing to do.

      You are always harping on majority this, majority that, what happened to the majority rights. Wait just a moment and ask, ‘what is left for the minority, I mean the Tamils, Muslims and Christian communities living from time immemorial in this country? At least the crumbs. Aren’t they too entitled to a fare share of representation in the country’s national sports teams, holding high office in administrative posts in government sector, medical doctors in government hospitals, academics, engineers, educationists, and on and on. Why aren’t they too considered the country’s wealth of human resources? Why they are being sidelined? All due to the racists mentality, and the world must clearly know what racism is doing to this country and who its leaders who are promoting it are. You damn well deserve this exposure, coming from non other that the UN itself.

  • 0
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    NAVI PILLAI IS SUGGESTING MAJORITY DISCRIMINATION AND ABANDONING MAJORITY RIGHTS OVER THE MINORITY WISHES.

    SEE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN STATED IT.

    THAT IS WHY UNITED NATIONS NEEDS REFORMS AND RESTRUCTURING.

    ‘“Any minority’s right to be different must be respected, but the right of the majority must not be questioned,” Putin added. ‘

    MAY BE CHINA START FUNDING UNITED NATIONS.

  • 0
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    I wonder why did’nt you asked to remove the pillers there as there is no indipendence here.

  • 0
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    Cannot expect such childish statements from a lady like this. Lets not talk about the validity of flying only the Buddhist flag, but concentrate on this lady’s claim. She has suggested that it would be better only to have the national flag, in other words, that it would be better not to have the buddhist flag. At the same time she is telling she never requested to remove the buddhist flag. I don’t know why UN is making such childish claims at the international level.

  • 0
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    Ms. Navi Pillai, whether she is a Tamil,a hristian or a Hindu is immatetrial. What she is is a puppet int he hands of the US and the west. She will do and say as she is told by the puppet masters.

    Nelson mandela is considred a hero by the west is because he let the white criminals,who subjugated and terrorised the black populace for centuries go scot free. We could have seen how he will be taken by the west if he were to institute justice punish the white perpertrators.
    Then he will be just another Mugabe.

    On another matter…..I wonder what happened to the Darusman claim of 40000 that was supposed to be one of her main concerns.

  • 0
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    To the Editors,

    It seems the personal attacks are getting vicious and is degrading the quality of the readers of Colombo Telegraph. Should the Editors consider not publishing comments targeting the writers. CT should encourage readership to address the issues and have a respectful debate on both sides. The comments I am reading lately are degrading and is similar to the low level politicians in Sri Lanka

  • 0
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    many happy returns of the day madam pillai. wish you long life , happiness and good health.

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