Sri Lanka keen to learn from experience of UN Special Rapporteur

Sri Lanka says it is keen to learn from the experience of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief on addressing issues of de-radicalization and extremism.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed called on Minister Tilak Marapana at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Special Rapporteur is on a visit to Sri Lanka in response to the standing invitation extended to all thematic UN special procedures mandate holders by Sri Lanka in 2015.

This is the 10th such visit by a special procedures mandate holder to the country in the past four years. The Government of Sri Lanka and the Special Rapporteur had agreed to schedule this visit in 2018.

During the meeting Foreign Minister Marapana said that in line with the Government’s policy of engaging in an open, transparent and constructive dialogue with the international community including the UN, a number of visits of special procedures mandate holders have been facilitated. He noted that the Government has always appreciated engagement with the Special Rapporteurs and taken note of their feedback positively.  He assured the Special Rapporteur that the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) will provide its fullest cooperation to him during his visit.

The Special Rapporteur while thanking the Government for the invitation, acknowledged the difficulties and sensitivities faced by the country particularly in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday incidents. He particularly appreciated the manner in which the Government has taken efforts to guarantee the safety and security of the displaced asylum seekers and refugees following the incidents of 21 April 2019.

The Special Rapporteur also attended a meeting of relevant Government officials, chaired by Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha. This meeting was attended by a number of Government agencies including the Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka Police,  the Attorney General’s Department, Ministry of Buddha Sasana & Wayamba Development, Ministry of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, Ministry of Postal Services & Muslim Religious Affairs, Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, Ministry of Housing, Construction and Cultural Affairs, National Education Commission, Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms, the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation and the Office for Reparations.

During the Government Stakeholders meeting, Foreign Secretary Aryasinha stated that in assessing the developments of Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday attack, the capacity shown by the Government to normalize the situation and ensuring the safety and security of all peoples should be noted. He added that the GoSL is keen to learn from the experience of the Special Rapporteur on addressing issues of de-radicalization and extremism, as well as best practices used by other countries in managing the issues that arise in protecting the freedom of religion or belief.

The Special Rapporteur is expected to visit several areas in the Northern, Eastern, North Western and Central Provinces during his visit. He will also meet with a cross section of religious leaders, representatives of the civil society, as well as with the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka.

At the conclusion of the visit, a de-briefing for Government stakeholders will be held on 26 August 2019 which will be followed by a Press Conference on the same day, where the preliminary findings of the Special Rapporteur will be shared with the media. The Special Rapporteur will submit his Report on the country visit to the Human Rights Council in March 2020.

1 COMMENT

  1. Sri Lanka (SL) urgently needs Truthful political leaders not Violence instigators, war mongersmurderers or liars. Definitely not radical Marxists, and ultra socialists who staged a political “Coup” in October, 2018 like thugs, threw Chilies powder an created chaos in SL parliament, Showing clearly that they are dictators; not respecting the constitution of SL, our cherished democracy and rule of Law .

    Any leader should have wisdom, vision, ability, patriotism, love for ALL citizens, do justice, be humble and
    Speak the Truth and nothing but the truth, distaste untruth and falsehood by telling ethnic, historical and blatant religous lies He should not be like the skew minded leftists who told lies, cheated citizens, spoke ethnic hatred, staged a civil war, Tamil genocide and plundered the country during, at lease 40 years of crooked governance, supported by mindless Buddhist Prelates.

    The consequent disaster to SL in a nutshell was when the world renown “Forbes Magazine” published for the year 2018, the names of 10 richest politicians living in SL and their wealth. Mahinda Rajapakse (MR) was top in the list. His wealth was U$ 18 Billion equal to Rs 3,006,000,000,000. Not even any African leader plundered so much from his country. His lie was when he rode a bicycle to parliament, when asked,. He said “I don’t have money”.

    My pertinent question why was MR not charged in a cort of Law and punished for;
    1 “Coup” in October 1918, in spite of the Supreme Court finding the “ Coup” as unconstitutional.
    2. The Chilies powder in the most honoured parliament of the country. He asked his son Namal to bring Chilies powder and cause violence.
    3. The siphoning away of U$ 18 Billion from SL.

    The “old wood” politicians, regardless of their party worked together in cohorts to plunder the wealth of us and our children. Ranil once said that he “saved MR from electric chair”. They must be tried in a court and punished.

    SL needs a young truthful leader of and for ALL people to live without corruption and have peace.

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