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Last updated: 13 November, 2005 - Published 18:02 GMT
 
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HRC "disturbed" over govt. stand
 
A UN meeting
UN was told by the government that the attack was an 'internal job'
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRC) expressed the shock and disbelief of the remarks made by a government representative over attempted arson attack on its headquarters a month ago.

Nimal Punchihewa, Director, Research and Investigations, of HRC said he was disturbed of government’s attempts to portray the attack as an ‘internal issue’ in front of international community.

Sri Lankan delegation at the 35 session of the UN Committee against Torture in Geneva has said that ‘some disgruntled drivers of the HRC’ have attempted to set fire on the building.

The HRC headquarters was set on fire on the 15th of October.

'Internal job'

Deputy Solicitor General Shaveendra Fernando, who is Geneva with the government delegation, told BBC Sandeshaya (bbcsinhala.com) that it was already revealed that the attack was ‘an internal job.’

 The absence of arrest relating to this incident suggests an attempt to hush up the inquiry and to let the protest die out and to slowly forget the incident itself
 
AHRC statement

Describing Fernando’s remarks as ‘very sad and surprising’ Punchihewa said it was irresponsible to jump into conclusions while two separate investigations are still being conducted.

Fernando told the BBC on Saturday that the HRC has already taken disciplinary action against drivers responsible.

But the senior HRC official questioned how the deputy solicitor general can talk about punishment while the internal inquiry does not implicate insiders.

No arrests

"The initial investigations suggest the attackers were outsiders. But the investigations haven’t been completed," Punchihewa told BBC Sinhala Service.

He said the police chief Chandra Fernando has appointed a special CID team, on the request of the HRC, to conduct a separate investigation.

The Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission, meanwhile, has strongly criticised the government's lacklustre attitude in bringing the culprits into justice.

"The absence of arrest relating to this incident suggests an attempt to hush up the inquiry and to let the protest die out and to slowly forget the incident itself," the statement said.

 
 
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