HRW wants SL to resume Stolen Asset Recovery initiative

HRW wants SL to resume Stolen Asset Recovery initiative

HRW wants SL to resume Stolen Asset Recovery initiative

Written by Staff Writer

09 Aug, 2022 | 5:53 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Human Rights Watch is requesting Sri Lanka to resume participation in the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) initiative, a World Bank and United Nations partnership to support international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds, and commit to doing so as part of an agreement with the IMF.

Sri Lanka’s new president, Ranil Wickremesinghe, should ensure that his administration adopts measures to protect the basic rights of all Sri Lankans, Human Rights Watch said in a letter published today outlining key human rights concerns. 

The government should prioritize protecting the public from further hardship by putting in place appropriate social protection policies and addressing endemic corruption, while respecting fundamental rights, including freedoms of expression and association, and ending abuses by the security forces, said HRW.

Among Human Rights Watch recommendations to President Wickremesinghe are:

Ensure that people are able to freely and peacefully express their views without fear of reprisal or arrest;

Withdraw emergency regulation provisions that are are vague, overly broad, and disproportionate or that violate fundamental rights;

Announce a formal moratorium on the use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) until rights-respecting counterterrorism legislation is enacted, and release prisoners arbitrarily detained under the PTA;

Establish a new social protection system that is both adequate to protect everyone’s rights from the effects of the economic crisis and designed to prevent mismanagement and corruption;

Resume Sri Lanka’s participation in the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) initiative, a World Bank and United Nations partnership to support international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds, and commit to doing so as part of an agreement with the IMF; and

Conduct independent and impartial investigations into allegations of serious human rights abuses and high-level corruption, and appropriately prosecute those responsible.

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