By Easwaran Rutnam (@easwaranrutnam)
A UN expert has drawn a bleak picture of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, especially over the past 18 months.
The Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence, Fabian Salvioli told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday (Thursday) that Sri Lanka has witnessed a profound deterioration in the human rights situation over the past 18 months.
He also said that there has been insufficient progress in relation to the search for the truth, and the flagrant setback in the areas of accountability, memory and guarantees of non-repetition.
The Special Rapporteur said that the situation jeopardizes the transitional justice process in Sri Lanka.
However, the Sri Lankan mission in Geneva said that the government remains committed to implementing its commitments under human rights treaties that it is a party to, as well as the country’s voluntary undertakings.
“We have regularly engaged with the UN mandated human rights system and briefed on the progress of commitments undertaken, including the continuity of the existing reconciliation mechanisms,” the Sri Lankan mission said.
Sri Lanka also reiterated that it opposes external initiatives contemplated by resolution 46/1 saying that such initiatives will only polarize society.
“The Government is committed to protecting and promoting freedom of expression and civil society space. It invites all parties alleged to have faced any attacks or harassment to submit their complaints to the different national mechanisms that have the competence and jurisdiction to receive and investigate such claims,” the Sri Lankan mission said.
The delegation note that Sri Lanka is open in acknowledging its challenges, and as a responsible and democratic government, is committed to achieving tangible progress on the entire range of issues relating to accountability, reconciliation, human rights, peace and sustainable development. (Courtesy Daily Mirror)