Sirisena may attend human rights session

Colombo, June 5 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena wishes to attend the upcoming UN Human Rights Council sessions in September when a crucial report on the island nation is expected to be submitted.

Sirisena stated this to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon over the telephone on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sirisena said recently that a new government would be in place by September as parliamentary elections were expected soon.

During the conversation, Ban Ki-moon appreciated the new government’s efforts towards achieving peace and reconciliation in the country while protecting the democratic rights of the people, an official statement said.

Sirisena defeated then president Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential election in January.

Soon after, his government won a six-month delay in the publication of a UN report on alleged war crimes said to have taken place mostly in the final months of the conflict between the military and the Tamil Tigers.

The UN Human Rights Council voted last year to investigate war crimes in the island nation, saying Rajapaksa failed to do so properly.

A report is expected to be submitted to the Council in March by UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein.

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