Sri Lanka falling short on HRC commitments, says report

June 06, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is falling short on commitments made at the Human Rights Council on addressing the legacy of war and implementing peace and reconciliation measures, the Sri Lanka Campaign said, releasing a score-card on steps taken so far.

The government responded to OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) findings by pledging measures including a process of truth-telling and reconciliation, security sector reform, prosecutions and de-militarisation contained in Human Rights Council resolution 30/1.

According to the British-based non-profit, the progress on several commitments remain uncertain.

The promise to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act, ending military involvement in civilian activities, reviewing victim and witness protection laws, and security sector reforms to remove human rights violaters are some of the measures that are not on track.

Richard Gowing, Deputy Campaign Director of the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, said: “The findings of the evaluation raise serious questions about the willingness of the Sri Lankan Government to take the bold steps necessary to address the legacy of the war.”

“Of the 25 specific commitments pledged by the Government at the Human Rights Council last year, 16 can be classified as ‘not on track’ or as giving cause for concern, compared to only three which can be described as ‘on track’. For the six remaining commitments it remains too soon to say.”

“Whilst acknowledging that many of the measures promised by the Sri Lankan Government will require time and patience, we are increasingly concerned that the ambition of the promises made to the Human Rights Council in October 2015 is not being matched by the required level of political will.

The report can be accessed here