The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is planning to hold discussions with civilians who testified before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, highly-placed External Affairs Ministry sources said.
Sources added that the discussions might be conducted through third party human rights bodies active in Sri Lanka
, if a formal request were to be denied by the Sri Lankan government.
This comes in the wake of a request made by the OHCHR to send a team of officials on a fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka, ahead of a planned visit by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights chief Navi Pillay.
Sources added that the request by the OHCHR to conduct discussions would impact on the request made for an advance team to visit Sri Lanka ahead of Pillay`s visit, but were not able to confirm whether a formal request has been made for the interviews.
The LLRC`s report stated that some surrendering cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have since disappeared, and sources said that the OHCHR team are hoping to have detailed discussions with those who testified to the LLRC on the matter.
Nationalistic Sri Lankan political elements have expressed dissatisfaction over the proposed visit by Pillay.
Sri Lanka`s External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris during a recent visit to the United States
, held discussions with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, and Clinton requested Colombo to provide assistance to the visit by Pillay.
The United States has been pushing for accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, and the Ambassador Designate, Michele Sison, said that accountability and reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka would also be on the top of her priorities if she takes office in Colombo.
The US in March managed to secure the required votes to adopt resolutions at the human rights council, which also called for accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, along with the full implementation of the LLRC report`s recommendations.
Peiris during his visit to the US presented Clinton with a plan of action, which sets out areas of the LLRC`s report which the Sri Lankan government would implement.