South Asia

Sri Lanka under UN watch for domestic mechanism

UN Secretary General Ban Ki—moon had stressed the importance for Sri Lanka to show firm commitment to accountability, reconciliation and human rights.



United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki—moon will keep a close watch on Sri Lanka’s pledged domestic mechanism that will probe the alleged human rights violations committed near the end of the country’s civil war, his spokesman has said.

The Secretary General is aware that the new governemnt (in Sri Lanka) is planning to set up a domestic accountability mechanism and will be carefully assessing developments, he said at the UN on Tuesday.

He said that Ban, in his recent engagement with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, had stressed the importance for Sri Lanka to show firm and clear commitment to accountability, reconciliation and human rights.

Ban felt that advancing accountability will lay the basis for Sri Lanka to make further progress on peace, democracy and development, he added.

His comments came as UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra d Al Hussein on Monday announced the deferral of the UN rights body’s investigation report on Sri Lanka until September.

The report consequent to the UNHRC mandated international investigation last March was to be reported to the UNHRC sessions next month.

The new Sirisena government did intense international lobbying to win the deferral. Al Hussein said the new Sri Lankan government had shown broad commitment to the UNHRC process.

Sirisena government was buying time in view of the parliamentary elections coming up in Sri Lanka after 23 April, Tamil nationalists charged.

The main Tamil party, TNA had also lobbied for the prompt release of it in March. With support from a larger chunk of the Tamil minority in the January Presidential election , the Sirisena government had pledged to achieve reconciliation with the Tamil minority.

The UNHRC adopted three successive resolutions during the term of Sirisena s predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The former President expressed public opposition to the resolutions and called the investigation an impingement on the island s sovereignty.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 10:41:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/human-rights-probe-sri-lanka-under-un-watch-for-its-domestic-mechanism/article6908887.ece

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