Pillay’s report calls for international probe

The report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) submitted to the UN Human Rights Council today, calls for an international investigation in Sri Lanka.

Making a statement after submitting the report on behalf of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay,   Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kyung-wha Kang said that the High Commissioner feels the government has not built upon the vision of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

She said that far from a comprehensive policy on accountability and reconciliation, the government’s nation plan of action makes selective, piecemeal commitments to implement the LLRC recommendations.

“While there have been significant investments in development and the resettlement of a large number of IDPs in the north, much remains to be done regarding reconciliation and accountability,” she said.

She also noted that acts of intolerance and violence targeting Muslim and Christian communities have reinforced concerns for the protection of minorities in Sri Lanka.

Several countries including the United States welcomed the report on Sri Lanka by Navi Pillay’s office.

In a set of recommendations to the government mentioned in the report, Pilay calls for the establishment of a truth-seeking mechanism as an integral part of a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to transitional justice.

She has also called for the drafting of laws dealing with witness and victim protection, the right to information, the criminalization of enforced disappearances and the revision of existing laws to bring them into line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Other recommendations include strengthening and ensuring the independence of national institutions, the development of a national reparations policy in line with international standards, invite special procedures mandate holders with outstanding requests to make country visits, particularly those who have offered assistance pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 19/2, hold public and inclusive consultations on the national plan of action for implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission with a view to revising and expanding its scope and clarifying commitments and responsibilities and open proceedings of military courts of inquiry and future trials of LTTE detainees to independent observers to increase public confidence, and allow proceedings to be evaluated in line with international standards.  (Colombo Gazette)