Colombo’s implementation of UN resolution remains poor

UNHRC voteNine months since the adoption of a resolution by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) the implementation of a majority of commitments made by the Sri Lanka government on accountability and reconciliation fronts has been “poor”, a think-tank has found.

In its study, Verité Research said there had been 36 commitments in five broad areas — transitional justice and reconciliation; rights and rule of law; security and demilitarisation; power-sharing; and international engagement. Of them, only four had been “fully implemented”.

Restoration of normality to civilian life in the Northern and Eastern Provinces; review and repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act; and ensuring the full participation of civil society and minorities in demilitarisation efforts are some of those commitments with “poor progress”, the study said.

Of nine commitments in the area of transitional justice and reconciliation, only three have been partially implemented. A bill on the Office on Missing Persons has been tabled in Parliament. However, there has not been much progress in areas like establishment of institutions for truth and reconciliation and setting up of a a war crimes court. The four “fully-implemented” commitments include “continued engagement” between the government and the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the signing and ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, said the report.

No foreign judges

Meanwhile, President Maithripala Sirisena has reiterated his position against participation of foreign judges in the proposed war crimes court whereas the United Kingdom has emphasised the need for the inclusion of “international element” in the judicial mechanism.

Addressing an event on Friday in Panaduram, Mr. Sirisena said he would not allow any foreign court, judge or organisation to interfere with the internal administration and judiciary in the country.

Participating in a debate in the House of Commons on Thursday on the issue of human rights in Sri Lanka, the U.K. Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Hugo Swire said there had to be an “international element” in the proposed mechanism to “reassure” communities in Sri Lanka. (The Hindu)

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