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NewsSri Lanka: Include International Judges, Lawyers and Prosecutors in Accountability Mechanism – FORUM-ASIA

Sri Lanka: Include International Judges, Lawyers and Prosecutors in Accountability Mechanism – FORUM-ASIA

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Oral Statement Delivered by R. Iniyan Ilango, on behalf of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) at HRC 32.
Wednesday, 29 June 2016.

Mr. President, we note the High Commissioner’s update on Sri Lanka and welcome his report on Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Burma/Myanmar.

On Sri Lanka we welcome cooperation with Special Procedures and the High Commissioner; and the ratification of the Conventions on Enforced Disappearances and Disabilities. We recognise the ease in threats to fundamental freedoms across the country, but remain concerned about continuing incidents, particularly in the North and East. We echo the High Commissioner’s call to swiftly address continuing allegations of violations such as arbitrary arrest, torture and sexual violence, as well as more general military surveillance and harassment.  We condemn the continued use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and call on the government to repeal it immediately. We also share the High Commissioner’s concerns on the lack of progress in releasing civilian lands and call for reversing disproportionate military deployment in the North and East.

We concur with the High Commissioner’s assessment on accountability mechanisms and call on the government to fully include international judges, lawyers and prosecutors in a judicial mechanism for accountability. We are alarmed at backtracking on this key commitment in resolution 30/1 by the President and the Prime Minister.  We call on the government to enact legislation for all transitional justice mechanisms it had committed to by 2016, after broad and inclusive consultations with all stakeholders.

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