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Tuesday, 18 September 2018
Tuesday, 18 September 2018 | Sri Lanka Watch
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No Entry for UN Rep. PDF Print E-mail
Frank La Rue the special representative of UN for freedom of expression from the UN Human Rights forum says he has not got the permission to visit Lanka though he applied many months ago.

He says he is trying to go to Lanka to see how the freedom of expression is after the end of war. Though the Lankan officials expressed they welcome his visit he has not got the official letter of invitation and he is astonished at the functioning of the government officials.

Frank La Rue, the UN Human Rights Council's special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression has made the request unofficially since March this year and sent an official letter seeking permission to visit Sri Lanka in August or September.

"I have no official response yet but unofficially the Sri Lankan mission in Geneva told me that yes, I would be welcome but that the government would have to find the appropriate time for that to happen,"says La Rue.

On condition of anonymity, a Sri Lankan authority in Europe on the subject told Sri Lanka Watch that it is the Government alone who decides whether and when to entertain Mr.  He said “La Rue. Mr. La Rue must understand that Sri Lanka is a sovereign state. It is this sovereign state that decides when the appropriate time is. Not Mr. La Rue. He running to the media where he stands with diplomacy and to put pressure on the matter is not going to change anything on government’s decision when he can visit Sri Lanka”.

The special rappoteur says the freedom of opinion and freedom of expression are key components of a process of reconciliation after decades of civil war. The governments, as well as the LTTE, are accused of curtailing press freedom during the decades of conflict.

Sri Lanka media minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena is the view that there are no special issues regarding the freedom of expression in Sri Lanka. And if certain groups or an individual’s feels they should investigate "internal affairs" in sovereign state that country has the right either to allow or refuse such a request no matter whether it is Sri Lanka or any other country.

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