The initial draft text of a Resolution on Sri Lanka being circulated among members of the the UN Human Rights Council and human rights groups, has called on Sr Lanka to agree on a time-bound action plan to address the human rights issue.
The text is to be further amended before it is submitted to the UN Human Rights Council Secretariat to be debated and voted on if required.
The draft text welcomes the establishment of the Office on Missing Persons in September 2017 and the appointment of its Commissioners in February 2018 and the assumption of its work to fully implement its mandate.
The draft text also notes other steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to implement Human Rights Council resolution 30/1, including progress towards establishing an Office on Reparations and the submission to cabinet of a concept paper on a Bill to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the proposed repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1978 and the preparation of a draft Counter Terrorism Act.
The draft text reiterates in this context the need for further significant progress and encouraging in this regard the adoption of a time-bound implementation strategy.
It reaffirms the commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and also notes the strong role played by Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions in the peaceful resolution of the political situation that arose in Sri Lanka from October to December 2018.
The draft also takes note of the return of some private land previously occupied by the military to civilian ownership while recalling repeated public commitments by the Government of Sri Lanka to release all private land occupied by the military, to enable local populations to resume livelihoods.
The draft requests 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 also requests the Office of the High Commissioner to continue to assess progress on the implementation of its recommendations and other relevant processes related to reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, and to present a written update to the Human Rights Council at its forty-third session, and a comprehensive report, followed by a discussion on the implementation of Council resolution 30/1, at its forty–sixth session. (Colombo Gazette)