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Sri Lanka says it is ready to begin consultations

Sri Lanka's ambassador to Geneva said the country was ready to begin consultations towards establishing a justice mechanism.

"We are eager to commence wide ranging consultations for this purpose as soon as possible in a manner to expand the ownership of its content by all stakeholders," he told the UN Human Rights Council as the resolution on accountability in Sri Lanka was adopted by the Council.

"My delegation looks forward to join the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report the progress made on the ground, as requested in the resolution, in time to come," he added.

During the general debate on the Sri Lanka, several states and NGOs stressed the need for the consultation process to be broad, and meaningful ensuring engagement with all victims and families.

Introducing the general debate on Wednesday at the Council, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid said,

"Judicial accountability should be accompanied by broader transitional justice measures, including truth-seeking and reparations, to ensure that the right of victims to redress is realized. These must be designed through a process of genuine, informed and participatory consultation, especially with victims and their families, and OHCHR stands ready to lend its assistance in this regard."

"This is a time of tremendous hope. Sri Lanka can finally break the cycle of impunity that for so long wracked its past. This will require more than prosecuting a few emblematic cases, but rather a comprehensive approach, developed through a broad-based and victim-centred process of consultation, that draws on the full range of transitional justice measures of judicial accountability, truth-seeking, reparations, vetting and deep institutional reform."

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