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UN rights chief announces inquiry panel, to investigate despite SL rejection

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, Wednesday, announced further details of the UNHRC mandated probe into rights violations and wartime atrocities in Sri Lanka, noting that the investigation would continue regardless of Sri Lanka's cooperation with UN.

The investigation will consist of 3 appointed experts, Mr Martti Ahtisaari, Ms Silvia Cartwright, and Ms Asma Jahangir, that will work with a team of 12 investigators. The experts will provide an advisory role, guidance and advice as well as independent verification throughout the process.

Details of the experts reproduced below:

Mr Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, who has also served as a UN diplomat and mediator and is renowned for his international peace work;

Ms Silvia Cartwright, former Governor-General and High Court judge of New Zealand, and judge of the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts in Cambodia, as well as former member of the UN Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination against Women;

Ms Asma Jahangir, former President of Pakistan’s Supreme Court Bar Association and of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, previous holder of several Human Rights Council mandates and member of a recent fact-finding body into Israeli settlements;

The UN Human Rights urged Sri Lanka to cooperate 'fully with this investigation' whilst noting that the investigation would still go ahead regardless of whether Sri Lanka decided to cooperate or not.

Sri Lanka last week passed a parliamentary motion that rejected the UN mandated probe.

Sri Lanka parliament rejects UN probe. TNA opposes, UNP abstains (18 June 2009)



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