Human Rights Watch called on Sri Lanka to move from promises to action, criticising the government's refrain that it was "making haste slowly".
"While the government has made some progress, most of the promises remain unfulfilled. Just ahead of the UPR, the government announced that it was operationalizing the much-delayed Office of Missing Persons, one of four key transitional justice mechanisms, and funds had been budgeted. Tellingly, there was no budgetary allowance for the other three. And, while the UPR team referred to draft legislation on a truth-seeking mechanism and a reparations mechanism, they stayed silent on the fourth: a special court with authority to prosecute, which was a key plank in the October 2015 resolution."
Highlighting Sri Lanka's refusal to commit to a time bound schedule during the UPR to implement its commitments made in the cosponsored resolution, HRW's senior South Asia researcher, Tejshree Thapa wrote:
"At the end of the UPR session, I asked the head of the Sri Lankan delegation why there was no mention of a special court, or a commitment to repealing discriminatory laws. His polite answer was, essentially, we are making haste slowly. He cited domestic political considerations, despite his government’s resounding majority in parliament."
"As Sri Lanka heads toward the March 2018 Human Rights Council session, this refrain will simply not be enough for victims. The government’s credibility – and that of the Human Rights Council – depends on moving from promises to action."