In a written statement submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for its 31st session which begins next week, Amnesty International has urged the Council to encourage the Sri Lankan authorities to affirm and deliver on the national and international human rights commitments made in 2015 and ensure that the Human Rights Council monitors progress and insists on implementation.
Amnesty International also notes that technical assistance and financial support must be offered for the development and implementation of a genuine and effective consultation process and justice, truth and reparation mechanism in Sri Lanka that meet international standards and for legal reforms and any other steps to ensure non-recurrence.
The written statement also notes that efforts must be taken to ensure that all assistance provided emphasizes the centrality of victims and their special status in the design and implementation of mechanisms to deliver truth, justice, reparation and nonrecurrence of violations.
It also calls for assistance to Sri Lanka to bring witness protection into line with international standards and to ensure its independence.
The statement also calls on the UNHRC member states to enter into agreements with Sri Lanka to relocate to safe countries victims and witnesses who face serious risk due to their engagement with the justice, truth or reparation mechanisms.
Amnesty International also wants assistance for Sri Lanka to develop a rigorous human rights vetting program for law enforcement agencies and the military for domestic purposes.
It also seeks cooperation and mutual legal assistance to Sri Lankan or hybrid courts seeking to prosecute persons suspected of crimes under international law or other serious human rights violations, subject to safeguards precluding the imposition of the death penalty. (Colombo Gazette)