Saturday, May 30, 2009

UN rights commissioner bypasses own council in seeking Sri Lankan probe

The United Nations human rights chief took the extraordinary step Thursday of seeking to override a decision on Sri Lanka by the world body’s top rights assembly.

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, pressed for an independent probe into abuses during the country’s war with Tamil separatists after a majority of the 47-member Human Rights Council rebuffed her appeal for that body to launch one.

Canada was among a dozen Council members – most of the others were European – that Wednesday opposed a Sri Lankan-drafted resolution describing the conflict as a "domestic" matter that should ensure the UN’s "non-interference."

But the measure passed with the backing of 29 Council members, among them China, India, Egypt and Cuba. The remainder abstained.

>> Full Story: National Post