Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe today appraised the Human Rights Council about the progress of Sri Lanka’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and the National Action Plan on the promotion and protection of the human rights.
The Minister said some of the recommendations already implemented include the reduction of High Security Zones, the closure of the Omanthai Detention Centre, the release of many ex-combatants, the resolution of land disputes and swift measures taken to ensure that no groups carry firearms with a deadline for the surrender of illegal weapons. The Minister was addressing the 17th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Minister Samarasinghe evaluated the Council on the various measures adopted by the Government to upgrade the living conditions of the people in the North and East. While catering to the needs of the displaced, the Government was facilitating the restoration of normalcy in the lives of the returning IDPs Many houses have been built and distributed among the returnees.
The Minister pointed out that former child combatants have been rehabilitated. They have been beneficiaries of educational programmes and vocational training. Many had even qualified for University admission. He stressed on the Government’s commitment to preserve the rights of all ethnicities and its equal treatment of all communities. He disclaimed the recent allegations of human rights violations. The Minister briefed the member states on the positive developments that are taking place in the country after the elimination of terrorism. The Minster said he believed it is appropriate their perspective on the UN system, considering that Sri Lanka has been an active member of the world body. Sri Lanka takes seriously its rights, obligations and duties and accords great importance to its engagement with the UN System.
It is of paramount importance that high officers of the UN system impartial, independent and transparent and are seen to be so. In conclusion the minister emphasized that Sri Lanka was looking forward to continuing its constructive dialog in the spirit of respect , cooperation and reciprocity with the HRC in particular, the UN system in general and its other international partners.
The Sri Lankan delegation to the Geneva session also includes Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva and Attorney General Mohan Peiris and Head of Sri Lanka mission in the United Nations in Geneva, Kshenuka Seneviratne. The UNHRC comprises 47 member states.