Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Timeline for action needed in Sri Lanka - HRW

Human Rights Watch called on UN member states to "press Sri Lanka for a time-bound action plan on reforms" during the country's third Universal Periodic Review, which commences today. 

"Successive Sri Lankan governments, including under President Maithripala Sirisena, have failed to ensure accountability for serious rights violations and other important commitments," HRW said in a statement

"The Sirisena government made key pledges at the Human Rights Council in October 2015 to ensure justice, accountability, and security sector reform,” HRW's Geneva director, John Fisher said.

“The failure of the government to fulfill most of these promises has brought its commitment to reform into question and dashed hopes of victims and affected communities.”

HRW statement further noted the lack of action on key government pledges. 

"The government’s budget outline for fiscal year 2018 contains no reference or allocation for the remaining three mechanisms. Other resolution undertakings, such as security sector reform and land reform, remain largely unfulfilled. In particular, the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has not yet been repealed; although the government claims it has not enforced the act for the last six months, many PTA suspects remain in prison and those finally released after years of detention without charge have not received redress. Protests across the country in recent months have demanded reform and justice including for PTA detainees."

“Sri Lanka is in danger of not just standing still on rights, but backtracking on essential reforms,” Mr Fisher said. “UN members need to look beyond the increasingly hollow promises of reform, and insist that the government present an action plan and timeline for honoring its commitments.”