UN Human Rights Chief slams Governor Raghavan

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet is slamming Northern Province Governor Dr Suren Raghavan for seriously misrepresenting her discussions with the Sri Lanka delegation which attended the Human Rights Council sessions last week in Geneva.

Bachelet in a statement released last night Sri Lanka time referred to news reports in the Daily Mirror which quoted Raghavan as claiming the High Commissioner “admitted that certain facts incorporated in the UNHRC report against Sri Lanka could not be condoned whatsoever.” It also said he claimed she had advised two of her senior officials who attended the meeting “to be more responsible and cautious hereafter.”

In her statement Bachelet said Raghavan was untruthful. “Either the newspaper misunderstood the Governor, or the Governor misunderstood – or misquoted – me.” The High Commissioner said she stands fully behind the report and the oral statement she made when presenting it to the Human Rights Council, and that she believes it fairly and objectively reflects the situation in Sri Lanka.

“I am deeply disappointed by the spin that has been put on my discussion with the Sri Lankan Government delegation,” she said, noting that other news outlets in Sri Lanka were also continuing to significantly misrepresent the Human Rights Council process in Geneva

Bachelet said the Sri Lankan Government should now refocus its efforts on fulfilling its obligation to provide justice and accountability for the grave human rights violations and abuses that took place during the conflict that ended in 2009, and honour its commitments to establish the truth about what happened and to promote reconciliation.

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