The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) has advised against weakening the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.
The Commission said that it was encouraged by the recognition of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of the role played by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in strengthening independent institutions which are key to discharging those obligations.
The Commission said that weakening of the relevant provisions will seriously hamper checks and balances and protection of people’s rights under the Rule of Law.
In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council which is currently meeting in Geneva, the HRCSL noted that the functioning of the Attorney-General’s Department and the Police in an impartial, apolitical manner is also of the essence.
“Human rights protection, reconciliation and dealing with the past with empathy are all interlinked. Hence, the need to strengthen the Office of Missing Persons and the Office for Reparations. They address intensely human and humanitarian issues that cannot be viewed only from a political or technical angle,” HRCSL added.
Similarly, HRCSL added that human rights defenders and journalists should be free to act without fear of adverse con sequences.
“We also reiterate the importance of defeating all forms of extremism by carefully balancing public security measures with the need for greater investment in communal harmony,” HRCSL said. (Colombo Gazette)