Written by Keshala Dias
08 Mar, 2018 | 8:42 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Delivering his annual report to the UNHRC regular session in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, said he was alarmed by recent violent incidents in Sri Lanka.
He also said, he would encourage UN Member States to explore the use of universal jurisdiction.
“In Sri Lanka, I’m very alarmed by recurring and continuing episodes of mob violence targeting ethnic and religious minorities, particularly Muslims, including most recently in Ampara and in several locations in the Kandy District, leading to the declaration of a nationwide state of emergency for ten days. There should be no impunity, either for the incitement that led to the attacks, or the attacks themselves. I have repeatedly urged the government to advance its implementation of the transitional justice agenda. I regret the absence of meaningful progress. It is urgent for the sake of the victims that progress be made on accountability and transitional justice. In the absence of such progress, I would encourage Member States to explore the use of universal jurisdiction,” he said.
Universal jurisdiction is the ability of the domestic judicial systems of a state to investigate and prosecute certain crimes, even if they were not committed on its territory, by one of its nationals or against one of its nationals.
According to the Human Rights Watch, Universal jurisdiction can be asserted in relation to a limited number of international crimes including war crimes, torture, crimes against humanity, genocide, piracy, hijacking, acts of terrorism and attacks on UN personnel.
Meanwhile, the UN under Secretary General for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman arrived in the country today, for a pre-planned three-day visit.
Feltman is expected to meet with a wide range of leaders including the President, the Prime Minister and officials of political parties and civil society groups.
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