The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein today called on Sri Lanka to swiftly operationalize the Office of Missing Persons and to move faster on other essential confidence building measures, such as release of land occupied by the military, and resolving long-pending cases registered under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Making a statement during the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein reiterated that the Prevention of Terrorism Act must be replaced with a new law in line with international human rights standards.
“In the North, protests by victims indicate their growing frustration over the slow pace of reforms. I encourage the Government to act on its commitment in Resolution 30/1 to establish transitional justice mechanisms, and to establish a clear timeline and benchmarks for the implementation of these and other commitments,” he said.
The High Commissioner noted that meeting the commitments should not be viewed by the Government as a box-ticking exercise to placate the Council, but as an essential undertaking to address the rights of all its people.
He said the absence of credible action in Sri Lanka to ensure accountability for alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law makes the exercise of universal jurisdiction even more necessary. (Colombo Gazette)