Written by Ramesh Irugalbandara
08 Mar, 2019 | 4:39 pm
Colombo (News1st) – The Report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” has been released. In it the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) calls for Sri Lanka to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and also calls on the creation of a Hybrid court to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law.
The report notes that the lack of decisive steps to address the past in order to build a future, grounded in accountability, respect for human rights and the rule of law, as well as the failure to communicate it’s actions, has generated widespread frustration. The OHCHR believes that the lack of accountability for past actions likely contributed to the return of violence against minorities in March 2018, and played a role in undermining the principles of democracy and the rule of law in October and November 2018.
The High Commissioner however notes that there has been constructive engagement by the Government with OHCHR and United Nations human rights mechanisms since January 2015 adding that it has made progress in human rights issues and its engagement with civil society in some areas. However, the report notes that progress in its commitments to transitional justice has been inconsistent and subject to considerable delay, partly because of the lack of a time-bound comprehensive strategy.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights believes that the lack of progress by Sri Lanka shows that the situation of human rights in Sri Lanka should remain firmly on the agenda of the Human Rights Council and urges the UNHRC to remain closely engaged with the Government of Sri Lanka and to continue to monitor developments in the country.
The report by the OHCHR has also issued a number of recommendations for the GOSL on a number of topics.
LEGISLATION AND JUSTICE
TRUTH AND RIGHT TO KNOW
The OHCR calls on the UN to continue to provide Sri Lanka with technical and financial support for the development of transitional justice mechanisms, provided that they meet international standards. It also calls on the UN to set up stringent vetting procedures to Sri Lankan police and military personnel in the selection of persons for peacekeeping operations, military exchanges and training programmes.
In it’s recommendations to member states the OHCHR calls on the Human Rights Council to continue its close engagement with the Government of Sri Lanka and to monitor developments in the country. It also calls on member states to Investigate and prosecute, wherever possible, in particular in accordance with universal jurisdiction principles, those allegedly responsible for such violations as torture, enforced disappearance, war crimes or crimes against humanity; and explore other options to advance accountability in the absence of credible domestic processes.
Read the full Report below;
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