UN Special Rapporteur meets Foreign Minister | Sunday Observer

UN Special Rapporteur meets Foreign Minister

The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed acknowledged the difficulties and sensitivities faced by Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday suicide attacks attributed to Islamic terrorists when he met Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana on Friday.

The visiting envoy called on Minister Marapana at the Foreign Affairs Ministry kicking off a series of meetings with government members, representatives of political parties, community and civil society leaders.

The UN Special Rapporteur arrived in the country on Thursday commencing a 12-day mission which will end on August 26.

Shaheed had also appreciated the Government’s efforts to guarantee the safety and security of the displaced asylum seekers and refugees following the incidents of April 21.

“The Government has always appreciated engagement with the Special Rapporteurs and taken note of their feedback positively,” Minister Marapana said adding that this was the 10th such visit by UN special procedures mandate holders within the past four years.

The Special Rapporteur also attended a meeting of Government officials, convened by Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha.

A number of state agencies including the Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka Police, the Attorney General’s Department and several ministries including Tourism were represented at the meeting.

A report with his conclusions and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in Geneva will be submitted in March 2020 following this current mission that includes visits to several areas in the Northern, Eastern, North-Western and Central Provinces.