Sri Lanka signs International Convention on Enforced Disappearances

Dec 11, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka on Thursday signed the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances at a ceremony held at the Treaty Section of the United Nations.

Acting Permanent Representative A.S. Khan signed this Convention on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, becoming the 95th country to sign this Convention.

The Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to sign and ratify the Convention.

The convention defines enforced disappearance as a violation of human rights and considers it as a criminal offence.

So far 94 states have signed the convention and 51 states have ratified it.

“In fact, the Cabinet also authorized the Legal Draftsman to undertake the drafting of necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the Convention.” Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told reporters Thursday.


He said the ratification of the Convention by Parliament will be expected to carry out January next year.

“We must remember that the alleged opposition between security and human rights is a false one. The right to life, the right to live without fear, the right to seek the protection of the law are all human rights,” Samaraweera said.

“But so is the right to freedom, the right to non-discrimination and the right of self-expressions. These rights, for the most part, complement rather than contradict each other.”

“And where there is a tension, the rights need to be balanced to ensure that each and every citizen can live a flourishing and full life.”

Foreign Minister added that there is no need to fear having a frank and honest dialogue with human rights defenders and UN Special Procedures or bilateral partners.

“This is not a partisan issue. Strengthening human rights must receive the support of all, including all in Parliament. Related legislation must not mistakenly be viewed as partisan.” he said.