Swiftly operationalize the Office of Missing Persons - Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
September 12, 2017 08:28 am
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the Government of Sri Lanka to “swiftly operationalize the Office of Missing Persons”.
He made this request in his opening statement at the 36th session of the Human Rights Council yesterday (11).
He also urged the Sri Lankan Government to move faster on essential confidence building measures such as release of land occupied by the military and resolving of long-pending cases registered under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
He said that the Act should be replaced with a new law in line with international human rights standards.
“In the North, protests by victims indicate their growing frustration over the slow pace of reforms.
“I encourage the Government to act on its commitment in Resolution 30/1 to establish transitional justice mechanisms, and to establish a clear timeline and benchmarks for the implementation of these and other commitments”, he said.
He proceeded to state that it should not be viewed by the Government as a “box-ticking exercise to placate the Council”, but as an “essential undertaking to address the rights of all its people”.
“The absence of credible action in Sri Lanka to ensure accountability for alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law makes the exercise of universal jurisdiction even more necessary”, he said.