Mar 13, 2019

Geneva recommendations: Sri Lanka seeks a further two years Featured

Sri Lanka has agreed to seek an additional two years from the United Nations Human Rights Council to implement the four year old Geneva recommendations within a specific time frame.

The Foreign Ministry said that Sri Lanka would also co-sponsor the appeal together with  UK, Canada, Germany, Macedonia and Montenegro, and will again be working in partnership with Sri Lanka and look to continue the cooperation and maintain engagement with the Council as Sri Lanka works towards the implementation of the commitments in HRC resolution.

Specific time frame!

However, if Sri Lanka is to be given more time to implement the HRC recommendations, a specific time frame should be imposed for Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations which they agreed to in 2015 to work towards the implementation of the commitments in HRC resolution 30/1.

The measures taken by the government towards implementing these resolutions has been commended by the HRC.

Welcoming the establishment of the Office on Missing Persons, and the appointment of its Commissioners and welcome the positive engagement of Sri Lanka with UN since October 2015, and with relevant special procedure mandate holders, and encourage the continuation of that engagement in the promotion and protection of human rights and truth, justice, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. We request the Office of the High Commissioner and relevant special procedure mandate holders, in consultation with and with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka, to continue to strengthen their advice and technical assistance on the promotion and protection of human rights and truth, justice, reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka, it said.  

The establishment of the Office of the Missing Persons came under special praise. 

‘No specific results’

However, the High Commissioner had not commended the productivity of the institutions established by the government to ensure justice for the war affected. 

“The High Commissioner is convinced that the OMPs, if fully operational, can play a crucial role in tracing individuals, identifying remains and reuniting families,” the Report states. “Nonetheless, the lack of a comprehensive strategy and of outreach on the process to address the past has led some to question how the various transitional justice processes and mechanisms envisaged would interact.”

The High Commissioner has recommended that the situation of HR in Sri Lanka “should remain firmly on the agenda” of the HRC owing to a lack of progress.

With regard to the progress of the implementation of matters agreed upon, the time frame given to Sri Lanka was extended by another year after which a full report should be submitted to the UN, it was proposed. 

To prevent torture:

Meanwhile, a group of representatives from the UN Committee for the prevention of torture are expected in the country on an inspection tour next month.

In High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s report on Sri Lanka she notes that abductions, torture and harassment within Sri Lanka has still not stopped. 

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