By Jamila Najmuddin
The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has once again called on Sri Lanka to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
The Working Group has also sought a visit to Sri Lanka on numerous occasions but the Sri Lankan government has yet to approve such a visit, a report by the UN Working Group stated. The report was sent to The Sunday Leader by Matías Josué Pellado, the Associate Human Rights Officer of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, Special Procedures Division Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“On 16 October 2006, the Working Group requested an invitation to undertake a mission from the Government of Sri Lanka.”
“The Government replied that it would not be possible to schedule a visit on the proposed dates, and that the interest of the Working Group would be given due consideration.
Reminder letters were sent on 20 July 2009 and 16 August 2010. No reply from the Government has been received to date,” the report said.Since its establishment, the Working Group has transmitted 12,230 cases to the Sri Lankan Government and of those 40 cases have been clarified on the basis of information provided by the source, 6,535 cases have been clarified on the basis of information provided by the Government, and 5,653 remain outstanding as of the end of last year.
The Working Group notes that about 80 cases of its present backlog concern Sri Lanka.
“The Working Group would like to reiterate its request to conduct a mission to Sri Lanka as soon as possible. The Working Group regrets that the Government has yet to report on the further implementation of the recommendations emanating from the Working Group visits in 1991, 1992 and 1999,” it said.
The Working Group reminds the Government of Sri Lanka of its obligations under the Declaration to “take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent and terminate acts of enforced disappearance in any territory under its jurisdiction.