|Murder of rights activist Maheswary Velautham brought to the attention of UNHR Council’s UPR Session|
|Monday, 19 May 2008|
Statement by H.E. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka at the adoption of the report of Sri Lanka on Monday 19th May 2008 following its Universal Periodic Review
“Thank you Mr. President, Madam Deputy High Commissioner, distinguished members of the troika, Excellencies, distinguished delegates, Before I invite the Legal Director of the Sri Lankan Peace Secretariat to read out the statement that would have been made by our Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights had he been here. I shall take a minute of two to bring you up to date on the situation in Sri Lanka as it pertains to human rights and the conflict.
Ms. Maheswary Velautham Human Rights activist
Killed by LTTE
Mr. President, the 13th of May was not only the day on which Sri Lanka came up for the Universal Periodic Review, it will be remembered by members of the Sri Lanka delegation as the day on which one of our best know human rights activists was murdered by the Tiger terrorists. Ms. Maheswary Velautham, an ethnic Tamil, feminist, an NGO activist and a human rights lawyer, was shot dead while she paid a call on her mother who was gravely afflicted with cancer. That terrible crime encapsulates in a way the challenges that Sri Lanka faces and the circumstances in which we strive to protect and uphold human rights.
A few days ago, between the 13th on which we presented ourselves for this peer review and today when our report comes up for adoption, a terrorist suicide bomber also exploded a bomb in Colombo killing nine and wounding 70. The overwhelming number of casualties were unarmed civilians. The third and final update that I want to present to you is of a far more positive nature. A former child conscript of the Tigers at age 14, a child soldier at age 15, Mr. Chandrakanthan, better known by his nom de geurre “Pillaiyan” was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council having won the highest number of votes at the recently concluded elections in the newly liberated East.
This is the latest information we have to present to you since we know from the questions that the Council is keenly interested in the conflict and the prospects for conflict transformation in Sri Lanka. Having presented that brief update, I shall now call upon Ms. Shirani Goonetilleke the Legal Director of the Peace Secretariat of Sri Lanka to place before you the statement by the Hon. Minister from Disaster Management and Human Rights Mr. Mahinda Samarasinghe.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 January 2009 )|
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