He said that Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York will sign the Convention today.
The Foreign Minister said that cabinet has approved the proposal to sign the key Convention.
The Convention has defined enforced disappearance as a violation of human rights and considered it as a criminal offence and has made its member states to draft legislations based on a set of principles.
So far 94 states have signed the convention and 51 states have ratified it. The proposal made by Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to sign the Convention and ratify it in Sri Lanka according to the mandate received by the new Government, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Samaraweera said that it is now the duty of the officials concerned to expedite the drafting of the necessary legislation and the duty of Members of Parliament to enact legislation and guarantee operationalisation and implementation of its provisions to ensure that such crimes do not take place in this country ever again.
“We all know that this is an issue that has plagued and pained our nation for long years. All, irrespective of race, religion, language or geographic location, have been affected by this crime for several decades, even in situations that are unrelated to conflict or unrest. The criminalization of enforced disappearance will provide protection to each and every citizen of this country from this crime and will help ensure that the terror of the White Van culture does not reign in our society ever again,” he said.
The former Government refused to sign the Convention, especially at a time when enforced disappearances were said to be taking place in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)