In response to the UNHRC report on Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a letter to the office of the Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said that the government takes note of the Report of the OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka and the recommendations made by the High Commissioner.
It further said that the Report represents a human rights investigation and not a criminal investigation.
Sri Lanka “Is pleased and encouraged by the High Commissioner’s recognition of the efforts of the new Government since the Presidential election of January 8, 2015 in dealing with issues of concern for the people of Sri Lanka relating to human rights, rule of law, governance, justice, institutional and legal reform and reconciliation,” the Government said.
The government also appreciated the due recognition given to the Government’s constructive engagement with the High Commissioner and OHCHR aimed at addressing post-conflict issues that impact on achieving reconciliation.
“Remains firm in its conviction to take all possible measures to ensure non recurrence in keeping with the mandate given by the people of the country twice this year, 2015, at the Presidential election in January and the Parliamentary election in August,” the government said.
Sri Lanka said it, “Will ensure dialogue and wide consultations with all stakeholders especially the victims of conflict, communities, political parties, civil society representatives, the military as well as the High Commissioner and his Office bilateral partners, and other international organisations in putting in place mechanisms and measures that will facilitate the right to know, right to justice, reparations and guaranteeing non-recurrence with the aim of achieving reconciliation and durable peace to ensure long-term progress of all her citizens.”
The government said it takes note also of the Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL), recognizes fully that this Report represents a human rights investigation and not a criminal investigation, and will ensure that its content as well as recommendations receive due attention of the relevant authorities including the new mechanisms that are envisaged to be set up.
“Remains open to continuing its engagement with the High Commissioner and his Office as well as the systems and procedures of the Human Rights Council, aimed at taking steps to safeguard and uphold the human rights of all her citizens,” the government said.
The UNHRC report on Sri Lanka released yesterday has recommended the establishment of a hybrid special court, integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators, as an essential step towards justice after investigations identified patterns of grave violations in Sri Lanka between 2002 and 2011, strongly indicating that war crimes and crimes against humanity were most likely committed by both sides to the conflict, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein said.
The report is divided into two parts which are interlinked:
- The overarching Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights (A/HRC/30/61) which can be found here:
- The accompanying report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (A/HRC/30/CRP.2) which can be found here:
- The response sent by the Sri Lankan Government can be found here: