Special Rapporteur tells UNHRC more reforms necessary in Sri Lanka

Mónica PintoThe UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Mónica Pinto told the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that more reforms are expected and necessary in Sri Lanka before the country can be considered to be on a path to sustainable democratization governed by the rule of law.

Pinto told the ongoing 32nd session of the Council that she will present a comprehensive report on her recent visit to Sri Lanka to the Council next year.

“I would like now to say a few words about my recent visit to Sri Lanka, which I carried out jointly with my colleague Juan E. Méndez, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. First, I wish to express my deep appreciation to the authorities for the invitation and the full cooperation extended during the visit. I am looking forward to continue our discussions, in particular during the drafting of my report which I will present to this Council next year,” she said.

She recalled a statement she made at the end of her visit to Sri Lanka which noted in that Sri Lanka is at a crucial moment in its history and that the elections of January and August 2015 brought an opening in the democratic space and led to some promising reforms, such as the re-instatement of the Constitutional Council or the new and fresh members of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka.

“Yet, more reforms are expected and necessary before the country can be considered to be on a path to sustainable democratization governed by the rule of law. The momentum for fundamental reforms should not be lost,” she said.

She also noted that Sri Lanka has embarked on a difficult but necessary journey to set up transitional justice mechanisms to deal with its near past.

“In this context, considerations around the independence, impartiality and competence of judges, but also prosecutors and investigators, involved in these transition mechanisms must be adequately and swiftly addressed. Strengthening the independence of the justice system as a whole is also essential not only to contribute to guarantees of non-recurrence, but also to improve the population’s everyday experience with the justice system,” she added.

Pinto encouraged the Government of Sri Lanka to seriously consider the recommendations contained in her end-of-visit statement and to continue engaging with the international community and the Human Rights Council on these issues. (Colombo Gazette)

4 COMMENTS

  1. We live in a world. And we must have human rights and democratic norms of the world. SL was in “exile” for 8 years. Now is the time to grab the chance and be civilised.

    Unfortunately, the “öld wine” is affecting progress.

    Apartheid is brutal. This happened in South Africa. Majoritarian
    apartheid in SL was built on brutality, and political, historical and
    Buddhist falsehood or lies.

    President Sirisena, last week, in a speech said that he will “eliminate”
    LTTE ideology for “separate state”, inside and globally.

    Did we hear the truth? No. Can he do anything? No.

    Separate state ideology was started democratically, in 1976, long before
    LTTE, as Vaddukoddai Resolution, and voted by more than 60% “Yes” votes
    in 1977 by the people, for the people of North and East. That is the
    truth.

    President Sirisena seems not to understand what is extremism. Tamils
    asking for their legitimate right is democracy not extremism. But,
    Sinhalese refusing to give rights of Tamils is extremism.

    In democracy, all citizens are equal. There is no “majority” with more
    privileges and “minority” with less privileges.

    SLFP politicians, dress in white, to impress that they are holy and pure
    but tell blatant lies on Tamil issues, to mislead the masses. This
    culminated in brutal Tamil genocide. The dictator MR and all his MPs
    were dressed in white to dupe masses and the world to commit massive
    frauds and genocide.

    Buddhist monks wear saffron robes but their heart, nature of talk and
    actions do not depict the nature of Buddha or his preaching.

    Yet, SL has agreed with the UNHRC to do Truth and reconciliation.
    Surely, the leaders of SL are incapable of doing it to bring peace

  2. What a JOKE, learn from Sri Lanka, the only Country in the entire Universe that completely erased a ruthless Terrorist outfit that committed mass murder and destruction, for almost 30 years. Have no mercy on Terrorists, leave us alone and look around the World, see what Terrorists are up to on a daily basis.

  3. In Sri Lanka, democracy is only for some, and not far all.
    This type of democracy is enforced by the armed forces who are answerable to none.
    Go north and east, and see.

  4. This is absolute nonsense. Why? In easy words: Sri Lanka is not a democracy because of its political system, election system or judicial system. This democracy was enforced by the colonial powers, i.e. the British Empire, which is their democracy understanding, not the one of SriLanka!!
    But the western powers deal with SriLanka in their own kind of understanding, what democracy should and must be. Even the western powers, each single state, has a different form of democracy, because democracy is not a fixed system. NO, it is only the attitude how you live democracy in daily life. If nobody understands what it means to live democracy together with other communities, you will never succeed. Only the western powers (incl UNO) are so blind folded to believe that democracy is the only way of governing a country!

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