Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka

| A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission

( March 08, 2012, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka Guardian) After Carefully consideration of the draft resolution, Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka, submitted to Human Rights council of Sri Lanka, the Asian Human Rights Commission is of the view that the resolution is conducive to promote the rule of law in Sri Lanka and will enhance the betterment of all communities by promoting reconciliation and accountability.
Photograph: Brian Jackson / Alamy/Alamy
In the past the Asian Human Rights Commission has categorically stated that Sri Lanka has suffered an exceptional collapse of rule of law, that its once functioning public institutions have become dysfunctional, that the separation of powers has suffered a great set back, that the powers of the parliament and the judiciary have been diminished, that freedom of expression and association has been serious curtailed, that the personal freedoms of all citizens have been challenged by illegal arrest, detention, forced disappearances and extra-judicial killings, that that powers of the military, para-military and intelligences services have been greatly enlarged and the possibility of accountability of grave crimes does not exists.
We have also pointed out that executive presidential system as envisaged in the 1978 Constitution is at the root of all the problems of the country.
We have also pointed out that they is no political will on the part of the government to deal with any of these issues. In fact, the government is continuing with the abuse of power and corruption and the country is faced with a terrible situation.
As there is little political space for the opposition, there is no likelihood of a solution to any of these problems.
Under these circumstances, there is a possibility of change with the suggestions proposed by this resolution to begin to deal with problems with the assistance of United Nations and the international community.
We see no basis for any alarm but rather a window of opportunity for constructive change for the betterment of everyone.
We therefore call on everyone to participate in this debate in a constructive manner and support this resolution.
The Draft Resolution is reproduced below:
Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka
Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights, and other relevant instruments,
Reaffirming that States must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism complies with their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, as applicable,
Noting the Report of Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and its findings and recommendations, and acknowledging its possible contribution to Sri Lanka’s national reconciliation process,
Welcoming the constructive recommendations contained in the LLRC report, including the need to credibly investigate widespread allegations of extra judicial killings and enforced disappearances, demilitarize the north of Sri Lanka, implement impartial land dispute resolution mechanisms, re-evaluate detention policies, strengthen formerly independent civil institutions, reach a political settlement involving devolution of power to the provinces, promote and protect the right of freedom of expression for all, and enact rule of law reforms,
Noting with concern that the LLRC report does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law,
1. Calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations in the LLRC report and take all necessary additional steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans,
2. Requests that the Government of Sri Lanka present a comprehensive action plan as expeditiously as possible detailing the steps the Government has taken and will take to implement the LLRC recommendations and also to address alleged violations of international law,
3. Encourages the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special procedures to provide, and the Government of Sri Lanka to accept, advice and technical assistance on implementing those steps and requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present a report to the Council on the provision of such assistance at its twenty-second session.

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Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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